Tenants’ behavioural responses to residential energy transition: are intended energy savings feasible?


Energy transition in Dutch social housing involves 2.3 million dwellings and tens of millions euro in costs, its important aim is to contribute to climate policy goals. The resulting energy/CO2 savings and welfare effects however strongly depend on tenants’ behavioural responses. For example, higher heating efficiency increases consumption of thermal comfort, because the price of this comfort becomes lower (the so-called rebound effect). This limits environmental savings, but creates private benefits, especially important for social tenants who might live in fuel poverty, unable to afford keeping their house warm.
Detailed insight in the size, causes, consequences of household behavioural responses is crucial to optimally shape energy transition. Not much research is available on the household level yet. Our project aims to fill this gap and combines expertise from theoretical and empirical economics, data science, behavioural research. The project includes three parts. Part 1 investigates the returns to existing energy retrofitting in social housing, exploiting quasi-natural experiments. We study changes in energy consumption induced by two technologies: insulation and solar panels. Part 2 builds a microeconomic structural model to disentangle the behavioural and the technical components in the energy consumption changes. It measures welfare effects for different groups. Part 3 applies computerized text mining to study the motives behind behavioural responses. It uses information from surveys/online platforms. We combine administrative ‘big data’ of Statistics Netherlands with novel data from housing associations and online platforms. The project yields tools and recommendations to optimize energy transition strategies in the social sector.





Dr. I.V. Ossokina

Verbonden aan

Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning University of Technology


01/01/2020 tot 31/12/2024