Decarbonising the building sector in Switzerland and beyond is crucial in moving our economic system within planetary boundaries. It is, however, not an easy task. Important economic and institutional barriers slow the adoption of technologies and behaviours that could help reduce the carbon footprint of existing and new buildings. For instance, most building occupants in the Swiss residential sector are renters (approximately 65%), which raises a split incentive problem. Owners are not incentivized to invest in energy efficiency given that they do not pay for energy costs. Information about a building energy usage and carbon footprint is also sparsely communicated. Existing rent regulations and financial instruments are also poorly targeted.
This research program aims to investigate policies that accelerate the adoption of energy savings technologies and behaviors in the Swiss real estate market. This research program is centered around three related research aims.
- Investigating the economic incidence of price instruments, such as the Swiss carbon tax. and energy efficiency investments in residential apartments.
- Investigating the energy use and economic impacts of energy/carbon footprint information disclosure policies in the real estate market.
- An equilibrium analysis of the real estate market that investigates the interaction between carbon pricing, the disclosure of energy/carbon information, and rent regulations.
This research project is currently underway. Results and deliverables will be communicated in 2024.