Working paper

EnergyFit Homes Initiative working paper 3: National consumer survey results

1 Jan 2015

This report is a milestone deliverable from CSIRO for the EnergyFit Homes Initiative. The project partners to this Initiative are the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, CSR, AGL Energy, Australian Windows Association, Clean Energy Council, Energy Efficiency Council, Stockland, Fletcher Insulation, Knauf Insulation, the Centre for Liveability Real Estate, and the Energy Efficiency Certificate Creators Association.
This report presents the results from a national telephone survey of consumers about understanding what information, from what sources at what time, and in what form is required to drive market uptake of low carbon homes.
In total, a random sample of 866 Australians was interviewed for this survey. Respondents represented all Australian states and territories in proportions comparable to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Census data (2011).
Results indicate respondents have a strong interest in energy efficient (EE) homes and their associated lower running costs, and that such homes are regarded as a priority, possible to achieve and not a hassle. Promoting key EE features , namely ceiling insulation, natural light, EE lighting, EE heating systems, and EE air conditioning, would likely be well-received by prospective buyers and tenants. EE homes were seen as providing comfort if they were cool in summer and warm in winter, had natural light, had good airflow/ventilation and were quiet. Therefore, promoting these features could increase the association of comfort with EE homes. The environmental benefits of EE homes were highlighted as motivating a decision and likely to elicit a response to buy or lease a home, especially if they were seen as popularly supported. Respondents were willing to pay for specific energy efficiency information about their prospective home, with about one third of respondents willing to pay $100 or more for information, although, respondents placed more emphasis on information on upfront costs than longer term running costs. Respondents indicated their preferred timing for feature-specific information when buying or renting was in the building inspection report, at ‘open for inspection’ events, and in home sales/rental advertising. Their preferred channels of information were via friends and family, product brochures, browsing at hardware stores, and use of energy ratings tools.

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