Adoption of retrofit measures among homeowners in EU countries: The effects of access to capital and debt aversion

Joachim Schleich*, Corinne Faure, Thomas Meissner

*Corresponding author for this work

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Energy efficiency policies often involve low-interest loans for retrofit measures in private buildings; the main target of these loans are meant to be households with otherwise poor access to capital. However, such programs can only be successful if the targeted households also take up these loans. This paper studies the relation between access to capital and debt aversion and the adoption of retrofit measures in European Union countries, employing a demographically representative household survey including about 6600 homeowners in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The findings suggest that debt aversion negatively affects the adoption of retrofit measures by homeowners. In particular, debt-averse homeowners with poor access to capital are less likely to have adopted retrofit measures than non-debt-averse homeowners with poor access to capital. The findings further provide evidence that low-interest loan programs should be targeted at younger homeowners with lower income and less formal education.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112025
Number of pages12
JournalEnergy Policy
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • debt aversion
  • econometrics
  • energy efficiency
  • energy policy
  • soft loans
  • Debt aversion
  • Energy efficiency
  • Soft loans
  • Energy policy
  • Econometrics

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