A choice experiment for testing the energy-efficiency mortgage as a tool for promoting sustainable finance

Energy Effic. 2022;15(5):27. doi: 10.1007/s12053-022-10035-y. Epub 2022 May 4.


The challenges currently facing the EU in the energy sector include increasing import dependence, limited diversification, high and volatile energy prices, decarbonization, and slow progress in energy efficiency. EU energy policy has provided a wide range of measures to achieve an integrated energy market and sustainability of the building sector. Various incentives and financial instruments have been promoted and financed by governments to help consumers in energy retrofit processes. These include direct investments and fiscal, financial, and market instruments. Public measures have been widely studied but private initiatives have not. In this study, the energy-efficiency mortgage (EEM) is investigated as a credit scheme to attract young people to a real estate market for sustainable buildings, characterized by high sale prices. A choice experiment (CE) was modelled to investigate the preferences of potential young buyers of a new home. The results of this exploratory survey showed an appreciation of the purchase of new A-rated properties according to the Energy Performance Certificate, compared to those that need to be retrofitted or not retrofitted. Consumers like the option of a home energy efficiency renovation being fully managed by a third party (i.e., following the one-stop shop model). The key appeal of energy efficiency for consumers ranges from its ability to support better energy management, to better property value management. The EEM seems to be a promising tool to stimulate investments in energy efficiency and to promote the accessibility and affordability of housing in the sustainable housing market. The results of this study can help private financial institutions to propose appropriate credit plans, which limit the risk of default by the borrower. They can also help public incentive policymakers to propose complementary instruments to EEM.

Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s12053-022-10035-y.

Keywords: Energy decision; Housing market; Stated preference survey; Sustainable energy financing; User perception.