Journal Article

What are the factors that discourage companies in the Irish commercial sector from investigating energy saving options?

July 1, 2017

Energy and Buildings, Vol. 146, No. 1, July, 2017, pp. 243-256


Logit models applied to representative data of Irish Commercial sector.

Factors associated with the investigation of energy saving option determined.

Tenants who lack decision-making power significantly less likely to investigate.

Providing floor area m2 associated with higher likelihood of investigation.

Commercial activity, employees, budget rules, payback and renovations significant.


To implement an energy saving measure, companies must first decide to investigate the options available. Representative survey data shows that almost half of companies in the Irish commercial sector do not take this step. This paper explores the barriers and drivers of this. Two logit models are fit to data to estimate the influence of variables, representing company and building characteristics, on the likelihoods of a company investigating either a fabric upgrade or a behaviour change measure.

Companies are more likely to investigate a fabric upgrade that: own the building they operate from, make energy related decisions locally, have more than 10 employees, have had a recent renovation, accept longer paybacks, and apply a case by case approach to budget decisions. Hotels and offices were found to have a higher likelihood of investigating fabric options. Lack of knowledge of building floor area reduced the likelihood of investigation of both fabric upgrade and behavioural options. Much of the previous research is concerned with the final adoption of measures; this analysis adds additional insights by identifying the factors that determine if a company is likely to investigate the options available.