What are the motivations for energy efficient refurbishment (EER)?

Owner-occupier motivation is multifaceted and complex. It is the precursor to energy efficiency refurbishment (i.e. action) and to encourage a greater uptake such refurbishment better understanding of this motivation is required. Existing motivation models and concepts – typically from a psychology or sociology perspective – give some indication of potential motivations, but have yet to be specifically applied to energy efficiency refurbishment.

Existing theories suggest that people are driven by a combination of needs and desires, but also by their expectations and perceptions of the outcomes, their perception of risk, their perception of their actual and ideal “self ”, and social norms. Although this is useful in providing some insight into owner-occupier motivation for energy efficiency refurbishment, existing models are not adequately applicable to provide sufficient understanding.

A motivation model (as per the image above ) has been produced to aid better understanding to enable greater uptake of energy efficiency refurbishments. This multi-disciplinary, dynamic model incorporates some concepts from existing theories, but unlike many theories, the model relates factors to the context. Motivations will be affected by a wide number of interrelated internal and external factors and mediated by the emotions of the individual, as demonstrated by the model.

Individuals are likely to perform energy efficiency works for three principal reasons – energy bill saving, to increase comfort and to reduce their environmental impact. Whether individuals have a more “egocentric” or “altruistic” attitude influences the strength of these principal motivations. This should be taken into consideration when deciding on the approach to adopt in order to motivate owner-occupiers to undertake energy efficiency refurbishment, particularly in government policy.