Moving towards a low energy future in the domestic sector? Social transition and the role of public policy
Jan Rosenow, University of OxfordAccording to the IPCC energy efficiency in buildings plays a key role for climate change mitigation policy and can deliver significant reductions of carbon emissions. However, the long-term trends point to a different direction: domestic energy consumption has increased and energy savings achieved via energy efficiency measures have been offset by an increasing energy demand for a higher number of appliances in households and more spacious dwellings. In the past, energy conservation programmes were designed for rather short time horizons. Considering the magnitude of change required there is evidence that a more radical structural change will be necessary in order to achieve long lasting reductions of energy consumption and their associated carbon emissions.
So far little research has been done to assess and evaluate energy efficiency policies systematically considering their impact on the transition required. This includes in particular policies aimed at non-technological ways of reducing energy consumption such as behavioural and cultural change. My doctoral thesis will systematically assess the potential for public policy to initiate such a transition focussing on the UK and Germany.