Money, Comfort or Environment? Priorities and Determinants of Energy Efficiency Investments in Irish Households

Claudia Aravena, Andrés Riquelme, Eleanor Denny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Energy efficiency is an effective strategy to reduce household energy consumption. Investments in energy efficiency measures (EEMs) result in reduced energy bills and increased comfort for households, while also contributing to national environmental targets. This article examines an energy efficiency scheme in Ireland and investigates the factors that determine investments in energy efficiency measures and the motivations of Irish households to participate in energy saving programs and adopt EEMs. The paper investigates three key research questions: the determination of investments in EEMs, with special focus on motivations and their relative importance; the consistency of motivations over the course of the decision-making process; and the consistency of determinants and motivations for investments in EEMs across different measures. The paper studies the implementation of seven energy efficiency measures in residential houses throughout Ireland. Results indicate that the decision to ultimately apply and invest in EEMs is mainly driven by monetary or economic factors such as gains in energy savings and the private cost of the measures. Comfort gains are found to be a secondary factor and environmental benefits of EEMs are found to be of little concern when making investment decisions. Finally, we suggest focusing on providing information about the benefits of the EEMs on energy savings and improvements in comfort in order to increase the adoption of EEMs by households in Ireland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-186
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Consumer Policy
Issue number2
Early online date29 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


  • Energy efficiency measures
  • Energy saving
  • Investments
  • Ireland
  • Motivations


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