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Real estate owners' views on renovation and energy efficiency in post-war multi-dwelling buildings
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Real Estate and Construction Management, Building and Real Estate Economics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2736-5176
2011 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The upcoming renovations of large parts of the Swedish residential building stock have been seen as a window of opportunity to undertake energy efficiency measures, which would contribute to reaching ambitious savings objectives. In this paper the indications that building owners don´t have strong economic incentives to undertake such measures are investigated, and it is tested whether company attitudes and strategies differ with respect to level of ambition in energy efficiency matters. The aim of this paper is to get an insight into the renovation and energy efficiency state in Swedish housing companies, and to test hypotheses about how much energy efficiency work has been carried out and how potential obstacles and energy efficiency in terms of investment opportunities are perceived in order to give an indication of what energy efficiency investments can be expected to occur spontaneously in the existing Swedish building stock. The results indicate that renovations have started but will constitute a challenge to the companies, which may crowd out energy efficiency investments. They also indicate that the more ambitious companies do more extensive energy efficiency work and are more forward planning, but will not intervene “in excess”, in comparison with less ambitious companies. There are also indications that energy efficiency may be hindered by transaction costs, uncertainty about future energy prices, competing investments or financing, and that less ambitious companies place more emphasis on transaction costs, competing investments and financing problems than do more ambitious companies. There is no indication that the importance of economic considerations or that perceptions of uncertainty, risk or profitability differ with respect to ambition level, nor are there indications that the use of calculation methods or discount rate differs. It appears that it isn´t primarily economic or regulatory drivers that make the ambitious companies invest in energy efficiency; rather they seem to need other motives for energy efficiency investments in order to “create” profitability, whereas less ambitious companies seem to value short term profitability higher than ambitious companies do. Taken together only moderate energy efficiency investments are expected.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 43 p.
Keyword [en]
energy efficiency, renovation, incentives for energy efficiency, obstacles to energy efficiency, residential buildings, housing companies, ideal types
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-35450OAI: diva2:428457
Available from: 2011-06-30 Created: 2011-06-30 Last updated: 2011-06-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Incentives for energy efficiency measures in post-war multi-family dwellings
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Incentives for energy efficiency measures in post-war multi-family dwellings
2011 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Energy efficiency is an important question to society as well as to individuals and firms. Improving energy efficiency in the building sector is considered an important means to climate mitigation. For real estate owners energy is also a central expenditure item and reducing energy consumption may directly reduce operation costs while at the same time serve as insurance against future energy price increases. Since new buildings only add a few percent annually to the building stock, the potential to reduce total energy consumption primarily lies within the existing building stock. The building stock is ageing and the post-war part of the stock that is in need of renovation is growing. This has been suggested as a window of opportunity to improve energy efficiency, but so far the results have been few. Several factors have been put forward to explain the so called energy efficiency gap – the difference between actual and optimal energy efficiency – one of which is split incentives. What adds to complexity in this case is that distinct differences have been observed in the level of ambition between the real estate companies that have renovated so far. Some companies have undertaken extensive renovation and energy efficiency measures, whereas other companies have done little more than urgent maintenance measures. It seems that real estate owners in general don´t have strong economic incentives to improve energy efficiency in connection to renovation – but what can then explain the differences between strategies?

This licentiate thesis examines the incentives among real estate owners to improve energy efficiency, particularly in post-war, multi-family buildings in need of renovation. The purpose is to add knowledge about decisions concerning measures that improve energy efficiency - in terms of incentives, barriers and different motives for real estate owners’ strategies and actions.

Results show that real estate owners lack strong economic incentives to invest in energy efficiency in multi-family buildings and the level of investment is dependent on the different motivations, grouped in three levels of ambition, that real estate companies have. One important conclusion is that the heterogeneity between companies that was exposed in the interviews and survey implies that they will not respond similarly to policy stimuli. The heterogeneity should thus be considered when designing policy measures so that public and company resources can be allocated as efficiently as possible, as there are many challenges facing owners of post-war residential buildings. Another conclusion is that from an economic point of view it is important to take the interaction between different measures into account, e.g. between physical measures and measures focusing on changing household behavior.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2011. 99 p.
, Trita-FOB-LIC, 2011:3
energy efficiency, housing companies, sustainable renovation, residential buildings, split incentives
National Category
Economics and Business
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-35259 (URN)978-91-978692-7-0 (ISBN)
2011-06-13, L1, Drottning Kristinas väg 30, KTH, Stockholm, 11:41 (Swedish)
QC 20110630Available from: 2011-06-30 Created: 2011-06-23 Last updated: 2011-11-10Bibliographically approved

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