Jul 2017 – Briskee, Deliverables & reports

[D 3.2 Scientific working paper on buildings]

Behavioural response to investment risks in energy efficiency - Working paper on heating and cooling in the residential sector

Authors: Michael Hartner, Sebastian Forthuber, Andreas Müller, Eric Aichinger, Lukas Kranzl (TU Wien)

There are numerous scientific reports and academic articels assessing long-term energy demand in the building sector using different scenario assessment tools and scenario framework conditions including energy price development, climate change, policy measures and technological change (Olonscheck et al, 2011; Asimakopoulos et al, 2011; McKenna et al, 2013; Töglhofer C. et al, 2012; Ó Broin et al, 2013; Steinbach, 2015). The authors of this paper also contributed to the literature of scenarios of energy demand and CO2-emissions in several studies, e.g. Kranzl et al. (2014), Müller (2015), Kranzl and Müller (2015).

Even the detailed results defer from study to study, there is one trend common to these papers, namely the decreasing energy demand for heating during the winter and increasing energy demand for cooling in summer throughout the countries of the European Union.

Better thermal performance of buildings resulting from mandatory efficiency standards for new buildings and building renovation drives the decreasing energy demand for heating. In contrast, the increasing cooling energy demand results from rising comfort expectations of users and warmer climate conditions.

Studies, which assess the future development of energy demands for heating and cooling demand, heavily depend on assumptions regarding the investment behavior, drivers and barriers and on assumptions on the discount rate of agents investing in the building stock. The BRISKEE project provides evidence-based inputs on the decision process of (non-commercial) investors in the building sector and aims at supporting modelers and policy makers in understanding the implications of investment behavior on investments in energy efficiency. The project supports the process of energy efficiency policy-making by investigating the role of household decision-making on three levels:

1) On the micro level, the project provides empirical evidence on the factors that influence investment decisions for energy efficiency technologies in households, in particular focusing on the role of household preferences for time discounting and risk, accounting for possible differences by technologies, household types, and countries.

2) On the meso level, the project explores the impact of time discounting and risk preferences and the impact of policies affecting those factors on the diffusion of technologies and the resulting energy demand in the European (EU 28) residential sector up to 2030. The project uses inputs from the micro-level analysis in order to improve the representation of investment decisions in the applied energy demand modelling tools: Invert/EE-Lab for heating and cooling and FORECAST for electricity demand).

3) On the macro level, BRISKEE explores the long-term macroeconomic impacts of changes in micro-economic decision-making and of energy efficiency policy on employment, GDP and exports in the EU up to 2030.

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