How consumers face novel hybrid energy options in housing? Studying the new detached house town house cases in Finland

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther conference contributionScientific


    Climate change policies drive the transition towards renewable energy and energy efficiency in housing. Consumers, as constructors and dwellers, are the core actors impacting the energy choices concerning single detached houses. In 2015 approximately 27 000 new dwellings were built in Finland, of which 8 000 were single detached houses. Housing consumes 20 % of the total energy consumption in Finland. Therefore, energy decisions in detached houses are important part of the Finnish energy system. The study is a part of the Academy of Finland financed research project focusing on energy services and consumers. In this paper, we ask 1) how the consumer meets renewable energy when he/she is designing and building an own detached house in Finland and 2) how the renewable energy options such as photovoltaic, pellets or hybrid solutions become or do not become feasible options. We have investigated the enablers and barriers for the adoption of novel modes of distributed energy production among construction companies, designers, energy extension experts, authorities, energy system providers and individual households in Finland through thematic interviews (26 in 2015-2016) and observations of events organised for builders. Our analysis focuses firstly on the current regime of energy production in single detached housing in Finland, at the moment dominated by heating pumps. Secondly, we discuss the identified barriers and drivers for renewable energy including failures in communication between different construction experts and shortage of comprehensive energy services. Finally, we present a development frame for the diffusion of distributed energy production in housing, focusing on designers. This plan is based on our finding that intermediary actors and intermediary expertise enable the translation of the needs and competences of consumers. Hence, better integration of key actors of construction process including especially designers and energy service providers are needed to diffuse novel energy solutions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    Event13th Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference - Tampere, Finland
    Duration: 6 Jun 20178 Jun 2017


    Conference13th Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference
    Abbreviated titlehopefulNESS 2017


    • renewable energy
    • consumers
    • socio-technical change


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