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Green Energy and Technology

A Critical Appraisal of Germany's Thermal Retrofit Policy

Turning Down the Heat

Authors: Galvin, Ray, Sunikka-Blank, Minna

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  • Discusses improving thermal performance of the European housing stock
  • Based on recent research on the interplay of householder behavior and the technical characteristics of residential buildings, in the context of German thermal retrofit policy
  • Proposes a new paradigm for domestic fuel savings
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About this book

Germany is seen as a leader in thermal retrofit policy and practice, but how effective is its approach? A Critical Appraisal of Germany's Thermal Retrofit Policy examines this policy in context and assesses its effectiveness. It finds that technical constraints and the costs of retrofitting reduce the rate of progress, while planning underestimates the influence of user behavior in the form of rebound and prebound effects. A key finding is that savings can be maximized within a policy that understands the actual behavior and motivation of households, the area where most energy savings are already taking place.

The book suggests a new policy paradigm that would encourage a better balance of partial and comprehensive retrofits, utilizing household behavior changes based on a better understanding of fuel saving motivation and fuel price elasticity. In this approach, the thermal building regulations would be made more flexible so that policymakers would:

- Promote partial, transitional and cost-optimal retrofits, which are more certain to pay back through fuel savings if they are appropriate to building typology and homeowner budgets.

- Promote comprehensive retrofits for reasons other than economic gain, focusing instead on the comfort and environmental benefits of energy-efficient homes.

- Invest more heavily in educating households to heat economically, learning from the prebound effect so as to maximize the utility of the homes they currently occupy, and base payback time calculations on actual consumption.

The results and findings of this book would be of interest to policymakers, researchers and graduate students alike.

About the authors

Dr Ray Galvin has an interdisciplinary background in engineering, social psychology, climate change science, and environmental policy studies. He seeks to bring together theoretical approaches from the physical and social sciences, in order to develop trans-disciplinary frameworks for environmental science research. Over the past four years, at East Anglia, Cambridge and now RWTH-Aachen University, his research focus has been on thermal retrofits in Germany. He is especially interested in how government policy, the physical properties of buildings, and household behavior interplay to inhibit or enable fuel savings. He also has 30 years practical experience managing a portfolio of rental housing.

Dr Minna Sunikka-Blank is a Lecturer at the Department of Architecture at Cambridge University and a Fellow and Director of Studies in Architecture in Churchill College. She specializes in comparative policy analysis, and over the past 15 years she has published several books and scientific papers on the subject. Her research focuses on how national governments can improve their sustainable building policies so as to increase feasible, cost-efficient and genuine carbon reductions in the housing stock, supported by behavioral change. She is a registered architect and has worked on environmental impact assessment and practical building projects in Finland, the Netherlands and the UK.

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4471-5367-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $149.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-1-4471-5366-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $119.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-1-4471-7018-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
A Critical Appraisal of Germany's Thermal Retrofit Policy
Book Subtitle
Turning Down the Heat
Authors
Series Title
Green Energy and Technology
Copyright
2013
Publisher
Springer-Verlag London
Copyright Holder
Springer-Verlag London
eBook ISBN
978-1-4471-5367-2
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4471-5367-2
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-4471-5366-5
Softcover ISBN
978-1-4471-7018-1
Series ISSN
1865-3529
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 148
Number of Illustrations
16 b/w illustrations
Topics

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