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The Impact of Subsidies on the Prevalence of Climate-Sensitive Residential Buildings in Malaysia

1
International Institute for Global Health, United Nations University, Kuala Lumpur 56000, Malaysia
2
Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales CF10 3BA, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2300; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122300
Received: 26 September 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 10 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
Dependence on air-conditioning (AC) for residential cooling and ventilation is a health and sustainability challenge. In hot temperatures, climate-sensitive buildings (CSB) can complement and/or substitute for AC usage in achieving thermal comfort. Many countries facing such conditions—particularly in tropical climates—are developing quickly, with rising populations and income creating demand for new housing and AC. This presents a window for adoption of CSB but could also result in long term lock-in of AC-dependent buildings. Here, a simple system dynamics model is used to explore the potential and limitations of subsidies to affect futures of housing stock and night-time AC usage in Malaysia. The effectiveness of subsidies in achieving high uptake of CSB and resulting health benefits is highly dependent on homebuyer willingness to pay (WTP). A detailed understanding of WTP in the Malaysian context and factors that can shift WTP is necessary to determine if CSB subsidies can be a good policy mechanism for achieving CSB uptake. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban health; health inequities; urban heat; air-conditioning; climate-sensitive buildings; systems thinking; system dynamics model; thermal comfort; willingness to pay urban health; health inequities; urban heat; air-conditioning; climate-sensitive buildings; systems thinking; system dynamics model; thermal comfort; willingness to pay
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Tan, D.T.; Gong, Y.; Siri, J.G. The Impact of Subsidies on the Prevalence of Climate-Sensitive Residential Buildings in Malaysia. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2300.

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