The diffusion of domestic energy efficiency policies: a spatial perspective

© 2017 The Authors National domestic energy-efficiency policies are unlikely to be implemented in a geographically uniform manner. This paper demonstrates the importance of socioeconomic, contextual, and local policy conditions in shaping the spatially heterogeneous response to a national policy. Through an assessment of the geographical and temporal variation in domestic energy-efficiency assessments provided under the United Kingdom's Green Deal, the factors underpinning the spatial diffusion of this policy are identified. Spatial regression models show that the presence of young families, university educated residents, detached homes, and large households positively affects the uptake of energy-efficiency assessments whereas property market activity, personal incomes, the presence of self-employed residents, and the efficiency levels of the existing housing stock has a dampening effect. National incentives for policy implementation that are distributed through selected local authorities also work to promote the uptake of energy-efficiency assessments. Overall, the analysis clearly shows the importance of local factors in determining how national policies are implemented on the ground. This has important implications for policymakers in designing and administering national policy frameworks, in trading-off targeted implementation with fairness and uniformity, and in evaluating the local effectiveness of national policies.