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The motives of social tenants in the transition towards non-natural gas housing and the effect of information provision



Last Updated: 10-2020


Housing associations face the task to sustainably renovate almost a third of the total Dutch housing stock and to shape the energy and heat transition of the built environment. More knowledge and research is needed to gain insight into how sufficient support from the tenants can be created for the execution of the energy and heat transition of social rental properties. Additionally, it will be interesting to know how to influence these barriers and triggers by the usage of information provision. Therefore, the aim of this study is to explore and identify the behavioral motives of tenants’ that affect the decision process regarding off-gas transition projects and how can these motives be influenced by information provision. A case study research is combined with the conduction of semi-structured interviews with tenants. Two cases, where different off-gas strategies are applied, are studied. In total 19 interviews are conducted. The results of the case study research confirm that the behavioral motives of tenants to give consent for the off-gas transition can be divided into gain, hedonic and normative motives. Firstly, gain motives of tenants are mainly focused on the financial consequences of the off-gas transition. Secondly, most occurring hedonic motives of tenants are comfort, disturbance and inconvenience, electrical cooking, and considering the transition as necessary maintenance. Additionally, the results show that hedonic motives are partly specific for a certain off-gas transition strategy. Thirdly, the majority of participants indicated to value biospheric values and have feelings of personal responsibility to contribute to the mitigation of climate change. Lastly, the advantages and disadvantages of both strategies are so different that other behavioral motives are determinative in the decision-making process of tenants. From these results can be deduced that a package of measurements has to offer a balance between advantages and disadvantages, in order to motivate tenants to give consent for the off-gas transition. The information process and subsequently how information is processed by tenants does influence the behavior and behavioral motives of tenants. How and which information is processed is influenced by the applied antecedent intervention strategy, personal information needs, access to (additional) information, and information and behavior of peers. Additional the information processing process is influenced by tenants’ own focus for certain information, as a result of their behavioral motives. Lastly, it is learned from the Purmerend case is that the social debate could cause more reluctance against the transition.

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