Drivers and barriers to energy-efficient technologies (EETs) in EU residential buildings
Journal article, 2021

To achieve carbon targets, the European Union (EU) aims to promote nearly zero-energy buildings (nZEB). To enable the necessary transition, technical solutions need to converge with socio-economic factors, such values and awareness of stakeholders involved in the decision-making process. In this light, the aim of this paper is to characterise perceived drivers and barriers to nine energy-efficient technologies (EET), according to key decision-makers' and persuaders of the technology selection in the EU residential building context. Results are collected across eight EU countries, i.e. Belgium (BE), Germany (DE), Spain (ES), France (FR), Italy (IT), Netherlands (NL), Poland (PL), and United Kingdom (UK). The stakeholders’ selected are architects, construction companies, engineers, installers and demand-side actors. Data from a multi-country survey is analysed to calculate the share of 15 drivers and 21 barriers (aggregated to 5 groups), being selected for each EET and country. The 5 groups considered to analyse drivers and barriers are environmental, technical, economic, social, legal. The perceived barriers and drivers were further studied for their association across the countries using the Pearson's Chi2 and a Cramer's V tests. The results demonstrate that across all EETs and countries, the technical and economic driver groups are perceived to have the highest potential to increase the implementation rate of EET. In terms of barriers, economic aspects are seen as the foremost reason that EET are not scaling faster. In both drivers and barriers legal aspects are the least often selected. In overall the barrier groups show significant variation across countries compared to driver groups. These findings provide an evidence-basis to better understand arguments in favour and against specific EETs and, in this way, support policy makers and other interested parties to increase the market share of the selected solutions.

Energy efficiency

Technology diffusion

Residential building stock


Technology selection



Clara Camarasa

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Technology

Lokesh Kumar Kalahasthi

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Service Management and Logistics

Leonardo Rosado

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Water Environment Technology

Energy and Built Environment

26661233 (eISSN)

Vol. 2 3 290-301

Subject Categories

Construction Management

Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)

Energy Systems

Areas of Advance




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