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The housing stock has a considerable share with 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions in the EU. To reduce energy consumption, and carbon footprint, the European Union and the Member States have been setting energy efficiency and emissions targets. The Netherlands has aimed to renovate 300,000 homes each year, leading to a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions, by 2050. In 2018, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs had issued a new policy to encourage actions that would help people eliminate the use of natural gas in the heating sector by 2050, and, by then, to completely use renewable energy. Despite these targets, the renovation rates have not been fast enough in achieving the policy targets. The homeowners usually need to follow complex renovation process. Among the barriers, TCs are the costs that indirectly associated in the renovation process, and they are inevitable and usually unpredictable costs rising from contracting activities essential for the renovation. Behavioral factors mainly illustrate a range of personal, contextual and external factors influencing homeowners’ cognitive decision- making processes. From an economic perspective, the behavioral aspects and transaction cost (TC) factors are among the main influencing factors in the consumers’ decision-making processes. This research aims to evaluate the influencing factors in EERs among Dutch homeowners. The main question to be addressed is ‘Which factors influence the decision-making processes of Dutch homeowners towards EERs?’ The current policy instruments are examined to indicate whether these policies match the needs of homeowners. The WOON2012 energy module database (housing survey on energy uses in rental and private building stocks in the Netherlands) is used to quantitatively analyze the impacts of the factors influencing the decisions of Dutch homeowners. The results intend to facilitate EER processes for homeowners and to help in designing more effective policy instruments. Theoretically, this research hopes to fill the gap by addressing the drivers and barriers to EERs from the behavioral and TCs perspectives.
Dr. Queena K QIAN is an Assistant Professor at OTB-research for the Built Environment, since December 2014. Prior to this appointment, she was employed as Research Assistant Professor at Building and Real Estate Dept., the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HK PolyU), where she received her PhD, entitled “Barriers to Promote Building Energy Efficiency- A Transaction Costs Perspective” in 2012. She has received academic awards from different countries, such as Delft Technology Fellow (2014, Netherlands) Endeavour Australian Cheung Kong Fellow (2013, Australia), FCE Awards for Outstanding PhD Thesis (2012, HK PolyU), Fulbright award (2010, USA). Her research interests are green building promotion, building energy efficiency, energy retrofit, transaction costs, behavioral science.