Seco@home Closing Conference


The closing conference for the research project seco@home was held at the end of September 2010 at the Evangelical Academy Loccum. The seco@home project spent two years looking at the consumer decisions made by private households in terms of energy usage in residential buildings.

The aim of the project, coordinated by ZEW and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, was to shed light on the following questions: Which energy mix does the majority of the population prefer? What are the barriers to the more widespread use of environmentally friendly devices and technologies? What are the determining factors of investment in energy modernisation measures?

In order to collect the necessary household data, ZEW researchers, in collaboration with the University of St. Gallen and GfK, conducted a representative survey among tenants and home-owners in Germany. The latest innovative survey techniques were used to get the most accurate assessment of consumers’ energy consumption in residential buildings. Also involved in the seco@home project alongside ZEW and the University of St. Gallen are Fraunhofer ISI, the Öko-Institut and DIW Berlin (the German Institute for Economic Research).

Public desire for sustainable energy consumption

The two-day workshop to close the seco@home project offered participants the opportunity to present results from the project to a number of guests from the government and public administration, companies and associations, as well as research and academia. Workshop participants also discussed what practical funding instruments for renewable energies and energy-efficient building renovations should look like, what progress has already been made in the liberalisation of metrology and how to assess the German government’s current energy policy.

On the basis of these research findings, the experts were in agreement that it is not a lack of desire on the part of consumers that is blocking the way to sustainable energy usage in residential buildings. Rather, what is needed are highly reliable legal conditions to provide additional assurance for potential investors in the planning stages and eliminate existing uncertainties. Finally, we also should not ignore the cost efficiency of energy-saving measures – in all areas of the residential building sector.

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Martin Achtnicht