Menu image/svg+xml

Improving policy instruments to better tap into homeowner refurbishment potential: Lessons learned from a case study in Germany

Increasing energy efficiency in residential dwellings remains one of the top climate protection priorities in many European countries. In Germany regulatory instruments and subsidy programs, together with communicative instruments, represent the most important measures for motivating homeowners to pursue energy-efficient retrofitting – to date, however, with little success; a tremendous potential for energy savings still exists particularly in the category of single-family houses. The present article primarily addresses the question of how to improve or supplement the political instruments in order to increase refurbishment rates and tap these potential savings; it presents the results of an analysis of existing policy instruments in Germany focussing on the most promising types of building and refurbishment measures that also takes into account the barriers responsible for the discrepancy between potential and actual refurbishment rates.