January 9, 2011

Do Environmental Benefits Matter? A Choice Experiment Among House Owners in Germany

by Martin Achtnicht

- The residential building sector is a major emitter of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) due to the high energy demand for electricity and heating, particularly in industrialised countries. In order to know house owners' preferences on heating and insulation technologies and to learn more about their decisions we conducted a choice experiment concerning energy retrofits for existing houses in Germany. In the experiment, participating house owners could either choose a modern heating system or an improved thermal insulation for their house. Unlike previous studies, we explicitly included both cost and environmental benefits of energy-saving measures. In particular, we find environmental benefits to have a significant impact on choices of heating systems.

Achtnicht, M. (2010). "Do Environmental Benefits Matter? A Choice Experiment Among House Owners in Germany." ZEW Discussion Paper No. 10-094, Mannheim, Dec 2010.