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What do people living in deprived communities in the UK think about household energy efficiency interventions?


While physical interventions such as external wall cladding can improve the energy efficiency of domestic properties, how residents think about and respond to such interventions can influence both their uptake and impact on the household’s energy use. The present research investigated what residents living within deprived communities in Yorkshire and the Humber (United Kingdom) thought about a number of household energy efficiency interventions proposed as part of a project known as “The BIG Energy Upgrade”. The Theory of Planned Behaviour was used as a framework for investigating residents' beliefs. Residents generally felt positive about the proposed interventions and expected that they would lead to financial savings, improve the appearance and warmth of their homes, and sense of pride in the local community. However, while residents intended to adopt energy efficiency interventions if offered them, they were less willing to personally invest in them. Home ownership and the belief in humans' ability to tackle climate change were found to predict willingness to invest. These findings help to understand responses to initiatives that seek to improve the energy efficiency of hard-to-treat homes.