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Understanding how New Zealand landlords make decisions about energy performance of private rental housing

Masters student

Letisha Nicholas

Supervisors

Dr Janet Stephenson

Dr Sara Walton (Department of Management)

Project Dates

2015-2016

Abstract


This research focuses on understanding how landlords behaviour influences energy performance of rental housing in New Zealand. Understanding how landlords make energy related decisions about a rental property is a key aspect in improving the quality of the private rental stock in NZ. Poorly performing rental housing is an issue across a number of areas, including; public health and policy, resource efficiency and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to limit impacts of anthropogenic climate change. New Zealand’s private rental housing stock is damp, cold, mouldy and energy inefficient. Currently over 453,135 houses are rented in New Zealand.


The aim of this study is to utilise the Energy Cultures Framework developed by Dr. Stephenson and the Energy Cultures team, to understand what the energy cultures of landlords in New Zealand are and how this in turn affects the energy culture of tenants and the overall energy performance of a rental property. The Energy Cultures Framework provides an interdisciplinary platform from which to study landlords across three key areas of energy behaviour; norms and aspirations, material culture and energy practices. This framework will help to identify and understand drivers and behaviours of landlords and factors to drive change.


Working research questions:

1.What are the characteristics of Landlords Energy Cultures and Tenants Energy Cultures?
2.How does a Landlord's Energy Culture respond or influence the Energy Culture of tenants in a rental accommodation situation?
3.What opportunities does this analysis reveal for improving the energy performance for rental housing in NZ?
4.How does this work contribute to the development of the Energy Cultures Framework?

Landlords are the focus of this research. As the owners of a significant proportion of properties in NZ they are in a position to offer considerable influence over the household. They can implement energy efficiency technology, alter the physical/ structural features of a rental property and improve the overall energy performance of the property. Tenants also have an important role in the energy performance of the rental property and it will be exciting to incorporate both perspectives into this project.

This Masters project is funded by the Energy Cultures 2 Research Project.