Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation,
Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

No 429: On the Quality and Impact of Residential Energy Performance Certificates

Björn Hårsman (), Zara Daghbashyan () and Parth Chaudhary ()
Additional contact information
Björn Hårsman: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Zara Daghbashyan: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Parth Chaudhary: Department of Energy Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, India

Abstract: This paper addresses quality and impact issues concerning Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) by means of a dataset based upon the Swedish EPCs for single-family houses. Assuming that the quality of the certificates plays an important role for their impact, we examine to what extent various characteristics of the firms and experts issuing the certificates are influencing their assessments of energy consumption and energy conservation. Exploiting the information on biased assessments, we also investigate the relationship between the transaction price of a house and its EPC label. Doing so, we distinguish the attributes that can be observed by visiting the house and those that a buyer only can inform herself about through the EPC. Applying regression analyses we find that firm and expert characteristics matter quite a lot implying that the EPC-quality could be improved considerably by increasing the inter-rater reliability. The results also show that the price impact of the energy label is related to information that the buyers can obtain by visiting the house rather than to information uniquely provided by the EPCs. Hence, the EPCs per se are unlikely to stimulate energy conservation through the price mechanism.

Keywords: Residential energy performance certificates; assessments of energy consumption and conservation; inter-rater reliability; capitalization of energy efficiency; hedonic regression

JEL-codes: D12; Q41; R31

24 pages, March 10, 2016

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