The impact of domestic energy efficiency retrofit schemes on householder attitudes and behaviours

Retrofitting existing housing stock to improve energy efficiency is often required to meet climate mitigation, public health and fuel poverty targets. Increasing uptake and effectiveness of retrofit schemes requires understanding of their impacts on householder attitudes and behaviours. This paper reports results of a survey of 500 Kirklees householders in the UK, where the Kirklees Warm Zone scheme took place. This was a local government led city scale domestic retrofit programme that installed energy efficiency measures at no charge in over 50,000 houses. The results highlight key design features of the scheme, socio-economic and attitudinal factors that affected take-up of energy efficiency measures and impacts on behaviour and energy use after adoption. The results emphasise the role that positive feedback plays in reinforcing pro-environmental attitudes and behaviours of participants and in addressing concerns of non-participants. Our findings have implications for the design and operation of future domestic energy efficiency retrofit schemes.

Long T; Young CW; Webber P; Gouldson A; Harwatt H (2015), Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 58, pp.1853-1876.