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Mixed-Method Research to Foster Energy Efficiency Investments by Small Private Landlords in Germany

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Division: Energy, Transport, Climate Policy, Wuppertal Institute; Döppersberg 19, 42103 Wuppertal, Germany
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Division: Digital Cities, Risk Prevention and Transportation, Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR), Deichmanns Aue 31–37, 53179 Bonn, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1702; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051702
Received: 4 February 2020 / Revised: 16 February 2020 / Accepted: 19 February 2020 / Published: 25 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
The decarbonisation of the building stock is an important element for the success of the German Energiewende (energy transition). Despite some progress having been made, the rate of energy renovation falls below the level required to meet political commitments. This gives rise to the question: what deters property owners from making energy efficiency investments and how can the policy framework foster such investments? To answer this question, the paper focuses on a widely neglected property owner group: small private landlords (SPL). Although they manage 37% of all residential rental properties in Germany, very little is known about their decision-making processes for energy efficiency investments. We applied a mixed-method design to identify factors that hindered and supported their investments. In an explorative study, we initially conducted 18 problem-centred interviews. Subsequently, we carried out a postal survey and analysed the questionnaires using a hierarchical linear regression model. The results show that energy renovation is a multi-dimensional decision-making process, which can only be adequately addressed by a comprehensive policy package. To develop such a package, the author recommends that the specific investment behaviour of SPL must be better targeted, their knowledge about energy efficiency investments must be improved through exchange and networking, a sense of responsibility for the neighbourhood must be fostered, and greater focus must be placed on improving local framework conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy renovation; small private landlord; mixed-method; problem-centred interview; OLS regression; rental market; Germany; governance; building energy renovation; small private landlord; mixed-method; problem-centred interview; OLS regression; rental market; Germany; governance; building
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MDPI and ACS Style

März, S.; Bierwirth, A.; Schüle, R. Mixed-Method Research to Foster Energy Efficiency Investments by Small Private Landlords in Germany. Sustainability 2020, 12, 1702. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051702

AMA Style

März S, Bierwirth A, Schüle R. Mixed-Method Research to Foster Energy Efficiency Investments by Small Private Landlords in Germany. Sustainability. 2020; 12(5):1702. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051702

Chicago/Turabian Style

März, Steven, Anja Bierwirth, and Ralf Schüle. 2020. "Mixed-Method Research to Foster Energy Efficiency Investments by Small Private Landlords in Germany" Sustainability 12, no. 5: 1702. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051702

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