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

Abstract

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

Michelsen, Carl Christian and Madlener, Reinhard, Homeowners' Motivation to Adopt a Residential Heating System: A Principal Component Analysis (January 1, 2013). FCN Working Paper No. 17/2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2060221 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2060221

Carl Christian Michelsen (Contact Author)

RWTH Aachen University ( email )

Templergraben 55
52056 Aachen, 52056
Germany
00492418049836 (Phone)
00492418049829 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.eonerc.rwth-aachen.de/fcn

Reinhard Madlener

RWTH Aachen University ( email )

School of Business and Economics / E.ON ERC
Mathieustraße 10
Aachen, 52074
Germany
+49 241 80 49 820 (Phone)
+49 241 80 49 829 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.eonerc.rwth-aachen.de/fcn

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