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Sustainable Energy Saving Practices for Buildings

DissertantBernhard Hohmann
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Friedrich M. Zimmermann



In times that climate change is beyond controversy, sustainable development and especially energy saving and increased energy efficiency becomes significantly more important. Thus, energy strategies are developed, as also in Austria, proclaiming to serve these goals. According to the energy balance of Austria, approximately one fourth of the energy consumption is consumed by private households where most of this energy is used for space and water heating. The Austrian energy strategy also recognized the huge potential to save energy in this segment. Different possible measures include to promote high energy efficiency standards of new buildings, increase the energy efficiency of existing buildings, or to switch to more efficient heating systems, enforcing renewable sources. The Austrian energy strategy supports such measures by a complex subsidy framework. But are these subsidies promoting only truly sustainable measures? Still today there are subsidies available for renewing oil burners instead of promoting a switch to renewable sources. Furthermore, insulation is commonly performed with oil derived materials although there are more ecological alternatives available.

In this thesis the Austrian energy strategy will be analyzed and questioned. Different measures and regional potentials will be explored. Finally, a new conceptual framework for the Austrian energy policy and its application (e.g., subsidies) will be proposed.

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