ASSESSING THE IMPACTS OF EDUCATIONAL INTERVENTIONS ON THE REPORTED PROBABILITY OF HEAT PUMP ADOPTION
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It is regarded that targeted energy efficiency improvements to residential, commercial, and industrial buildings are essential components of an effective climate action plan. While the energy performance of buildings in Ontario has improved, projected future emission totals are inconsistent with the commitments ratified at the Paris Accord. Over 60% of residential energy consumption is devoted to space heating in Ontario. Further, the mainstream usage of natural gas furnaces is delaying potential progress on achieving the Provincial and Federally ratified climate action goals. There is a pressing need to facilitate the residential adoption of low carbon and energy efficient alternatives to reduce the carbon emissions associated with seasonal space heating requirements. Technical improvements have made the air source heat pump among the most efficient and reliable heating systems available on the market. Despite these improvements, many residential consumers in Ontario are not aware of the functional reliability and energy performance of cold-climate heat pumps. Consequently, provincial rates of heat pump adoption are low. Previous researchers have claimed that a sustained provision of focused awareness building campaigns is essential to stimulating residential interest in heat pump adoption. However, these conclusions have not been sufficiently tested in Ontario. The present study’s sample consisted of 158 homeowners and landlords in the Region of Waterloo. A between group pre-test post-test research design examined the direction and change to the reported probability of heat pump adoption after administering a focused educational intervention to two seminar cohorts and two online survey cohorts. Descriptive and inferential tests of significance demonstrated that the probability of heat pump adoption significantly increased in each experimental group when the existing heating system required replacement. The reported high probability of adoption on a five-point Likert scale increased from 40% to 73% in the seminar cohorts and from 33% to 51% in the survey cohorts when the existing system required replacement. The high probability of adoption in the seminar cohort’s post-test scores increased from 17% within the year to 73% when the existing system required replacement. The high probability of adoption in the survey cohort’s post-test scores increased from 8% within the year to 51% when the existing system required replacement. It is concluded that local environmental organizations may play a strategic role in facilitating interest in heat pump adoption by distributing positive and reliable information throughout their contact lists and by hosting awareness building seminars. This may increase the frequency in which homeowners discuss the technology, and raise public exposure to cold-climate heat pumps. The sustained diffusion of information should make important contributions to raising residential exposure and interest in high performance heat pump models.
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John Robert Conor MacAdam (2020). ASSESSING THE IMPACTS OF EDUCATIONAL INTERVENTIONS ON THE REPORTED PROBABILITY OF HEAT PUMP ADOPTION. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/15440