Developing an evidence-based energy-policy framework to assess robust energy-performance evaluation and certification schemes in the South-eastern Mediterranean countries

Article


Ozarisoy, B. and Altan, H. 2021. Developing an evidence-based energy-policy framework to assess robust energy-performance evaluation and certification schemes in the South-eastern Mediterranean countries. Energy for Sustainable Development. 64 (2021), pp. 65-102. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esd.2021.08.001
AuthorsOzarisoy, B. and Altan, H.
Abstract

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7, which calls for universal access to affordable, reliable, sus- tainable clean energy for everyone, is expected to influence near-future trends in many countries across the European Union. Retrofitting buildings is an important milestone in the evolutionary development of energy- efficient residential buildings, yet a significant proportion of the south-eastern European social-housing stock is obsolete in this area; in addition to effective retrofitting strategies for these buildings, the occupants thereof, who represent different socio-demographic backgrounds, also require in-depth study. Even though this subject has been widely investigated, new approaches that consider connections between technology and the behav- ioural responses of residents are needed to continuously update retrofitting design strategies and energy- efficiency solutions. This paper aims to fill a research gap in the area of developing an evidence-based framework for energy-policy decision-making mechanisms related to the integration of the Energy Performance Building Directives at the level of conceptual and nationwide implementation schemes.
In general, properties in this particular sector account for approximately 38% of the total housing stock and demon- strate some of the worst housing standards in Europe. The objective of this study is to focus on the interaction of such attitudes and the underlying determinant factors thereof with socio-cultural and contextual factors. A socio- technical-systems (STS) approach is used as a theoretical framework to integrate household socio-demographic char- acteristics related to energy use, the thermal-conductivity level of buildings and environmental factors; and to address the question of how different contexts influence motivation to develop energy-efficiency strategies. Drawing on the STS, this study investigates domestic energy use and measures thereof in post war social housing stock in the south- eastern Mediterranean, where the climate is subtropical (Csa) and partly-semi-arid (Bsh); these designations are ac- cording to the Köppen climate classification system; to improve the energy efficiency of archetype residential tower blocks (RTBs) that are embedded and interpreted in the socio-cultural local context of Cyprus.

Feed-forward interviews of 100 flats revealed a moderate negative correlation (r = −0,329, p 〈0,01) between household income and tenancy status, and there was a moderate positive relationship (r = 0,252, p < 0,05) be- tween household income and length of residency; this indicates that household income is a determinant factor related to energy use. Of the surveyed flats, 73% were owner-occupiers whose ages ranged between 55 and 65 and 65-years-of-age and older; these age bands were in the high-income group, and the energy consumption of these households was higher than the national average, all of which demonstrates an association between the age and level-of-income factors. A moderate negative correlation (r = −0,229, p < 0,05) was found between the occupants' ages and their complaints related to thermal discomfort, which suggests that built-environment factors and household socio-demographic characteristics should be evaluated before any type of building retrofitting is developed. The study findings were implemented to develop policy design that considers the UN Sustainable Development Goals related to energy-and-recovery plans; implications on domestic energy use in the south-eastern Mediterranean climate are expected to influence future trends in EU countries.

KeywordsEnergy efficiency; Energy governance; Mixed methods; Policy design; Retrofit delivery; Socio technical systems
JournalEnergy for Sustainable Development
Journal citation64 (2021), pp. 65-102
ISSN0973-0826
Year2021
PublisherElsevier
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esd.2021.08.001
Publication dates
Online24 Aug 2021
Publication process dates
Submitted11 Jun 2021
Accepted10 Aug 2021
Deposited19 Nov 2021
Copyright holderElsevier
Copyright informationCrown Copyright © 2021 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of International Energy Initiative.
Additional information

This article is a research outcome of the PhD thesis entitled 'Assessing the Domestic Energy Use and Thermal Comfort of Occupants in a Post-war Social Housing Development Estate in Famagusta, Northern Cyprus

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