Housing energy-related renovations from a lifestyle and social standards perspective: insights from Portuguese homeowners Academic Article Conference Paper uri icon


  • Recent studies argue that energy-related renovations which are not distinctive from other house improvements must be socially contextualized and intercepted with the householders’ daily social practices. Within a practice-theory approach, this study aims to explore how tastes, lifestyles and social values and norms can be brought into the understandings of energy renovation practices of Portuguese homeowners. The outcomes disclosed differentiated taste-motivated issues which boost homeowners to renovate. This highlighted the importance of energy policy-makers understand the diversity of homeowners’ desires and preferences regarding house renovation activities. Reflecting upon this diversity inside the household domain, gender differences revealed to be a significant factor, being women an undervalued resource despite their key influence on domestic energy management. Results also reinforce previous theories about how home renovations decisions reflects societal values and norms which determined “what would look nice” to have in a house and which determine, in part, why visible renovations are so prioritized, frequently not energy-related. Findings suggested also that energy policies should be drawn making energy efficiency in houses as fashionable as other consumer goods related with home design. Innovative partnerships between energy policy-makers and household products industries, home design magazines, marketing experts or real estate experts, which have the know-how on shaping people’s tendencies and tastes, are needed

publication date

  • January 1, 2022