Proceedings chapter
Open access

Modeling firms' energy-efficiency investment drivers in commercial buildings

Presented at Asilomar (USA)
Publication date2006

What are the drivers of corporate energy-efficiency investments? No satisfactory answer has been given to this question. Energy economics has been bogged down in a debate on the possible existence of cost-efficient energy savings, while behavioral research has mainly studied the human and social aspects of residential energy use. Flagrant disinterest of management sciences towards energy reflects the indifference of firms. The goal of this paper is to propose a new theoretical framework capable of explaining the drivers of firms' energy-efficiency investments. In this regard, we first analyze the relationship between energy and firms, using relevant business science concepts. This analysis leads to reassessing the energy-efficiency barriers conceptual framework: two meta-barriers explain the lack of corporate interest towards energy, and determine all the barriers previously identified by the energy literature. These meta-barriers are: the (supposedly) non-strategic character of energy for many companies, and a kind of ‘fairy energy' culture in which energy is consumed as a limitless commodity from an unknown, uncontrollable and almost magical source. The third part of the paper proposes the processual/contextual perspective to analyze the drivers of corporate energy-efficiency investments. This perspective considers the investment decision as a step in a dynamic process, and takes into account the influences of the organization and its business environment on this process. Finally, the paper provides a new theoretical model for analyzing corporate energy-efficiency investment decisions. In conclusion, we sketch an empirical research project to test the model's hypotheses and briefly discuss its possible findings.

  • Energy-Efficiency investment
  • Organization behavior
  • Decision-making model
Citation (ISO format)
COOREMANS, Catherine. Modeling firms” energy-efficiency investment drivers in commercial buildings. In: 2006 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings. Asilomar (USA). [s.l.] : [s.n.], 2006. p. 7;33–47.
Main files (1)
Proceedings chapter (Accepted version)
  • PID : unige:97651

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