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Green or Greedy: The Relationship between Perceived Benefits and Homeowners’ Intention to Adopt Residential Low-carbon Technologies

Referierte Aufsätze Web of Science

Fabian Scheller, Karyn Morrissey, Karsten Neuhoff, Dogan Keles

In: Energy Research & Social Science 108 (2024), 103388, 14 S.


Transitioning to a net-zero economy requires a nuanced understanding of homeowners’ decision-making pathways when considering the adoption of Low Carbon Technologies (LCTs). These LCTs present both personal and collective benefits, with positive perceptions critically influencing attitudes and intentions. Our study analyses the relationship between two primary benefits: the household-level financial gain and the broader environmental advantage. Focusing on the German homeowners’ intention to adopt Rooftop Photovoltaic Systems, Energy Efficient Appliances, and Green Electricity Tariffs, we employ Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling to demonstrate that the adoption intention of the LCTs is underpinned by the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Our research also highlights the pivotal role of perceived benefits in shaping attitudes and intentions. Attitudes towards the LCTs are more strongly related to product-specific benefits than affective constructs. In terms of evaluative benefits, environmental benefits exhibit a higher positive association with attitude formation compared to financial benefits. However, this relationship switches as homeowners move through the decision process with the financial benefits of selected LCTs having a consistently higher association with adoption intention. At the same time, financial benefits also positively affect attitudes. Observing this trend across both low- and high-cost LCTs, we recommend that policymakers and businesses enhance homeowners’ awareness of the personal advantages and implement strategies to make these financial benefits more tangible and accessible.

Karsten Neuhoff

Head of Department in the Climate Policy Department

Keywords: Economic viability, low-carbon technologies, adoption intention, theory of planned behaviour, structural equation modelling