Attitudes, Ability and Willingness: Rethinking Split-Incentives of Non-domestic Building Tenure to Overcome Energy Inertia
Split-incentives of non-domestic building tenure that divide the benefits of implementing energy efficient technologies and behaviours between property owners and users are generally recognised to act as a financial barrier to the adoption of energy efficient interventions in UK non-domestic properties. Despite the extensive availability of cost effective energy efficient interventions that could overcome financial spilt-incentives for UK non-domestic building owners and users, widespread energy inertia prevails. This suggests the barriers presented by split-incentives of ownership exert an influence beyond financial decision making. Rethinking the impact of split-incentives may therefore assist in unlocking energy inertia and contribute to the mitigation of climate change. This paper reports the findings of a qualitative survey undertaken to investigate the impact of non-domestic building ownership on the owners’ and users’ ability and willingness to adopt energy efficient and conservation technologies and behaviours. It explores the impacts of ownership beyond the reach of financial disincentives to adopt energy efficiency improvement and identifies four types of constraint affecting non-domestic building owners’ and users’ energy behaviours; ownership constraints, financial constraints, knowledge constrains and regulatory constraints. The paper extends the understanding of the scale and scope of split-incentives of non-domestic building ownership for energy performance improvement within non-domestic buildings and presents a wider scope of the split of incentives of ownership than previously established. It also explores the opportunity this new understanding offers for reforming UK energy policies. Findings suggest the impacts of tenure are influential beyond monetary considerations for non-domestic building owners and users and include practical and attitudinal barriers from relationships, contractual constraints and ownership concerns which drive energy inertia through the Owner-User Stalemate.
KeywordsEnergy efficiency Non-domestic buildings Tenure Owners Users Energy inertia Owner–user stalemate
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