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Title: Politics of change : energy efficiency policy in Britain and Germany
Author: Rosenow, Jan
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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Britain and Germany are two countries that are internationally recognised for their energy efficiency policies in the area of domestic buildings. Although pursuing similar objectives, the two countries have quite different flagship policies: Germany put in place a large loan and grant scheme to finance residential energy efficiency measures in 2001, the CO2-Building Rehabilitation Programme. The UK was the first country in Europe that introduced Energy savings obligations in 1994. Since then the policy instruments in both countries experienced significant change. This thesis explores the politics of the changes that occurred, and investigates the policy processes that led to the modifications. Mainstream theories of policy change emphasise short-term crisis-like events when it comes to explaining why policies change significantly. However, more recent theoretical approaches suggest that gradual mechanisms, including accumulating external pressures and slowly developing consequences of the policies themselves, play an important role as well. In order to approach the two cases theoretically, this thesis draws on the concept of friction developed in Punctuated Equilibrium Theory and the policy feedback literature. This thesis investigates how long-term pressures, for example the perceived impact of climate change and rising energy prices, affected the evolution of the key home energy efficiency policies in Britain and Germany. Combined with assessing the impact of institutional changes and policy feedback, a comprehensive analysis of long-term policy change is carried out. A set of different methods is employed to undertake the investigation including qualitative and quantitative research methods such as semi-structured interviews with more than 25 experts followed by qualitative content analysis, complementary document analysis, and the review of data sets. The analysis provides a detailed historical case study of the key home energy efficiency policy instruments in Germany and the UK with a focus on the causal mechanisms of gradual pressures. Wider conclusions are drawn for the theories of policy change and how gradual pressures might be accounted for in those theories in a more meaningful way.
Supervisor: Eyre, Nick Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Public policy ; energy policy ; energy efficiency ; policy change