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Heat savings and heat generation technologies: Modelling of residential investment behaviour with local externalities

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  • Q41 - Demand And Supply
  • Q53 - Air Pollution
  • Water Pollution
  • Noise
  • Hazardous Waste
  • Solid Waste
  • Recycling
  • C61 - Optimization Techniques
  • Programming Models
  • Dynamic Analysis
  • H23 - Externalities
  • Redistributive Effects
  • Environmental Taxes And Subsidies
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Geography


The trade off between investing in energy savings in single family houses and investing in more expensive heating technologies with low variable costs has been modelled for a number of building and consumer categories in Denmark. The households have an option to combine their primary heating source with secondary heating e.g. woodstove. We address increased indoor air pollution with fine particles, which are potentially harmful to human health, when using a woodstove, in order to represent a close proximity to and tangibility of the environmental and health problems of air pollution for private consumers. We integrate health cost into household optimisation of woodstove use as secondary heating source. We investigate whether the monetary value of the possible health damage has an effect on the optimal consumers’ choice of a heating technology and heat savings. The results show that due to combination of low costs of primary fuel and low environmental performance of woodstoves today, included health costs lead to decreased secondary heating. Overall the interdependence of heat generation technology and heat savings is significant. The optimal level of heat savings for private consumers decrease by 66% when all have the option to shift to the technology with lowest variable costs.

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