Younger vs. older homeowners in building energy-related renovations: Learning from the Portuguese case Academic Article Conference Paper uri icon


  • There is still a little recognition in policies that homeowners cannot be assumed as one homogeneous group when it comes to their decision for energy-saving renovation. The interest in energy efficiency varies among these homeowners depending not only on personal and contextual factors but also on everyday life activities and social practices. Some studies suggest that the homeowner's life stage have a significant role in shaping this interest. This study aims to understand the influence of the homeowner's age on the motivation for energy-related renovations of Portuguese owner-occupied single-family buildings and how this age is linked to the home-related and social practices that may encourage these renovations. A survey and a structured observation method were used. The younger Portuguese homeowners seem to be more environmentally conscious and adopt “little-by-little” energy renovations, even if less visible to the community. For the older, despite higher incomes, usual motivational arguments do not seem to work. If energy-related renovations are associated to some particular issues about aesthetics, indoor comfort conditions and sentimental meanings given to the home, these renovations are more likely to happen. However, both can be influenced by key moments in their life that trigger the renovation process.

publication date

  • January 1, 2020