Homeowners' Motivation to Adopt a Residential Heating System: A Principal Component Analysis
FCN Working Paper No. 17/2011
42 Pages Posted: 16 May 2012 Last revised: 4 Apr 2013
Date Written: January 1, 2013
Heating demand accounts for a large fraction of the overall energy demand of private households in Germany. A better understanding of the adoption and diffusion of energy-efficient and renewables-based residential heating systems (RHS) is of high policy relevance, particularly against the background of climate change, security of energy supply and increasing energy prices. In this paper, we explore the multi-dimensionality of the homeowners’ motivation to decide between competing RHS. A questionnaire survey (N=2440) conducted in 2010 among homeowners who had recently installed a RHS provides the empirical foundation. Principal component analysis shows that 25 items capturing different adoption motivations can be grouped around six dimensions: (1) cost aspects, (2) general attitude towards the RHS, (3) government grant, (4) reactions to external threats (i.e. environmental or energy supply security considerations), (5) comfort considerations, and (6) influence of peers. Moreover, a cluster analysis with the identified motivational factors as segmentation variables reveals three adopter types: (1) the convenience-oriented, (2) the consequences-aware, and (3) the multilaterally-motivated RHS adopter. Finally, we show that the influence of the motivational factors on the adoption decision also differs by certain characteristics of the homeowner and features of the home.
Keywords: Residential heating systems, technology adoption motivation, consumer behavior
JEL Classification: D12, O33, Q41, Q42, R22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation