Unseen influence – the role of low carbon retrofit advisers and installers in the adoption and use of domestic energy technology

Reducing climate changing emissions associated with residential property continues to be a significant challenge. Five case studies of different domestic energy technology schemes in England highlight the influence of advisers and installers in householders’ decisions to adopt low carbon technologies. Many of these advisers and installers are micro-enterprises working in connected groups in particular geographic areas. Such micro-enterprises form a large part of the construction sector, but despite the number of enterprises and the potential impact of changes in the behaviour of the sole traders and small firms, there appears to be little policy that specifically targets this group.

Data from these case studies is presented and organised into a typological framework, in order to illustrate the range of ways in which the impact of advisers and installers can be modified. Two of the six factors in the typological framework relate to the motivation of installers themselves and how their work is perceived by their clients. By examining these factors in particular, this paper makes a novel contribution to understanding the factors that influence the take up and use of domestic energy technologies, leading to the possibility of new policy options or interventions.

Owen A; Mitchell G; Gouldson A (2014) , Energy Policy, 73, pp.169-179.