Recession or retrofit: An ex-post evaluation of Irish residential space heating trends

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Dennehy, Emer R.
Dineen, Denis
Rogan, Fionn
Ó Gallachóir, Brian P.
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Elsevier B.V.
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Analysis of the technical potential for energy efficiency often highlights very large potential savings; however, the reality of savings achieved often falls far short of this potential. Ex-post analysis is known to be important for quantifying realised energy-efficiency savings, but is often neglected for many reasons. This paper describes an approach to an ex-post analysis that uses readily available administrative data and provides insights into the impact of an energy-efficiency policy measure of residential energy-efficiency retrofitting (upgrades). Ex-post analyses have the advantage of including the impacts of events and behaviours that coincide with energy-efficiency programs and thus facilitate disentangling external influences and avoidance of misattribution of savings. Three different quantitative approaches are used to determine whether the national energy-efficiency retrofit programmes or the economic recession was responsible for the sharp fall in residential space-heating energy demand in Ireland between 2007 and 2012. The analysis finds that while Government energy-efficiency retrofitting programmes have played a role in reducing energy consumption, the biggest influence by far between 2007 and 2012 was the economic recession. The top down decomposition analysis recorded energy savings (including â savingsâ that were due to the recession) that were 3.9 times greater than bottom-up retrofit savings related to residential space-heating measures over the period 2006 â 2012. The analysis highlights that an important policy challenge is to achieve reduced consumption due to behavioural changes while experiencing economic growth.
Energy efficiency , Exergy , Fuel switching , Retrofit , Neeap savings , LMDI-I , Top-down , Bottom-up
Dennehy, E. R., Dineen, D., Rogan, F. and Ó Gallachóir, B. P. (2019) 'Recession or retrofit: An ex-post evaluation of Irish residential space heating trends', Energy and Buildings, 205, 109474 (13pp). doi: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2019.109474