Energy retrofits of Danish homes: Is the Energy Performance Certificate useful?

Toke Haunstrup Christensen, Kirsten Gram-Hanssen, Marjolein de Best-Waldhober, Afi Adjei

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Energy retrofitting of the existing dwelling stock represents one of the major challenges for the transition to a low carbon
society, as about 19% of the final energy consumption in the European Union relates to heating of dwellings. Danish
homeowners’ experiences with the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) are examined, as it was introduced in 1997
(prior to a similar scheme introduced later in the European Union). The main research question is whether the EPC
has an influence on Danish homeowners’ energy retrofit practices. Homeowners’ understanding of and trust in the
EPC are analyzed, based on an online survey of homeowners (N 5 743) living in a home with a recently issued EPC.
Results indicate that the EPC has a limited influence on homeowners’ energy retrofit practices. Despite most
homeowners finding the EPC reliable and easy to understand, relatively few find it useful as a source of information
for home retrofits. In its current form, the EPC is insufficient to encourage homeowners to undertake energy retrofits
of their home. Improvements to address this problem in the administration, scope and layout of the EPC are suggested.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBuilding Research and Information
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)489-500
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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