Murto, P., Jalas, M., Juntunen, J., & Hyysalo, S. (2019). Devices and strategies: An analysis of managing complexity in energy retrofit projects. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 114, 109294.

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Energy retrofits in households are an important means of reducing energy consumption and mitigating climate change. However, energy retrofit rates have generally been lower than expected. As a key reason behind non-adoption, the complexity of energy retrofits can be challenging for adopters to handle. In this article, we study how suppliers and retrofit adopters seek to manage the complexity of an energy retrofit purchase. Using interview and mystery shopping data, the article analyses how the complexity is managed through a variety of complexity management devices (CMD) and complexity management strategies (CMS). We identify four complexity management devices, concretizations that help deal with energy retrofit complexity: characterisations, projections, comparisons and references. In addition, we identify four complexity management strategies for managing complexity: pre-exposure, choice simplification, outsourcing and championing. The contribution of the study is in highlighting the role of complexity management in energy retrofits and how CMDs and CMSs are involved in structuring energy retrofit offerings, business models and energy information. This, in turn, provides impetus for developing measures to ease the complexity of adoption.


Murto, P., Jalas, M., Juntunen, J., & Hyysalo, S. (2019). The difficult process of adopting a comprehensive energy retrofit in housing companies: Barriers posed by nascent markets and complicated calculability. Energy Policy, 132, 955–964.

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Comprehensive energy retrofits by households and housing companies have been recognised as important means for emission reductions. However, the diffusion of comprehensive energy retrofits has not been as fluent as expected. In this article, we study the Finnish energy retrofit market and comprehensive energy retrofit acquisition process through participant observation and interview methods in order to better understand the work that housing companies, as potential adopters, must carry out. The results of our study suggest that to operate in the current market, adopters must expend a considerable amount of effort in finding market actors, understanding the offerings and coming to grips with what kind of energy system would be ideal for their site. Only a handful of market actors are able to help adopters in this work and even these were difficult to locate due to their position in the energy retrofit market ecology. The study indicates that future policy should foster matchmaking between potential adopters and energy counselling services and support tighter collaboration between public and private energy sector actors.