Keywords: barriers, energy policy, climate policy, energy efficiency, Germany, commercial sector, services sector, energy audits
Do energy audits help reduce barriers to energy efficiency? An empirical analysis for Germany
A vast body of literature suggests that there is a variety of obstacles to increasing the efficiency in the use of energy through private and public organisations or individual households. Barriers such as market failures or transaction costs may even prevent cost-effective technologies and practices from being realised. In this paper, econometric methods are applied to empirically assess the relevance of various factors of influence on barriers to energy efficiency in the German commercial and services sectors. In particular, this paper's estimation results suggest that energy audits help to overcome barriers, such as lack of time or information, uncertainty about energy costs, or the landlord/tenant dilemma. The results also indicate that audits conducted by engineering firms are more effective than those carried out by utilities or industry sector associations.