Germany is seen as a leader in thermal retrofit policy and practice, but how effective is its approach? A Critical Appraisal of Germany's Thermal Retrofit Policy examines this policy in context and assesses its effectiveness. It finds that technical constraints and the costs of retrofitting reduce the rate of progress, while planning underestimates the influence of user behavior in the form of rebound and prebound effects. A key finding is that savings can be maximized within a policy that understands the actual behavior and motivation of households, the area where most energy savings are already taking place.
The book suggests a new policy paradigm that would encourage a better balance of partial and comprehensive retrofits, utilizing household behavior changes based on a better understanding of fuel saving motivation and fuel price elasticity. In this approach, the thermal building regulations would be made more flexible so that policymakers would:
- Promote partial, transitional and cost-optimal retrofits, which are more certain to pay back through fuel savings if they are appropriate to building typology and homeowner budgets.
- Promote comprehensive retrofits for reasons other than economic gain, focusing instead on the comfort and environmental benefits of energy-efficient homes.
- Invest more heavily in educating households to heat economically, learning from the prebound effect so as to maximize the utility of the homes they currently occupy, and base payback time calculations on actual consumption.
The results and findings of this book would be of interest to policymakers, researchers and graduate students alike.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning was one of the most prominent English poets of the Victorian era. In the 1830s Elizabeth's cousin John Kenyon introduced her to prominent literary figures of the day such as William Wordsworth, Mary Russell Mitford, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Alfred Tennyson and Thomas Carlyle. Her first adult collection, The Seraphim and Other Poems, was published in 1838. During this time she contracted a disease, possibly tuberculosis, which weakened her further. Living at Wimpole Street, in London, she wrote prolifically between 1841 and 1844, producing poetry, translation and prose. She campaigned for the abolition of slavery and her work helped influence reform in the child labour legislation. Her prolific output made her a rival to Tennyson as a candidate for poet laureate on the death of Wordsworth. Barrett Browning was widely popular in the U.K. and America during her lifetime. American poet Edgar Allan Poe was inspired by her poem Lady Geraldine's Courtship and specifically borrowed the poem's meter for his poem The Raven. Poe had reviewed Barrett Browning's work in the January 1845 issue of the Broadway Journal and said that "her poetic inspiration is the highest - we can conceive of nothing more august. Her sense of Art is pure in itself." In return, she praised The Raven and Poe dedicated his 1845 collection The Raven and Other Poems to her, referring to her as "the noblest of her sex." Her poetry greatly influenced Emily Dickinson, who admired her as a woman of achievement. Her popularity in the United States and Britain was further advanced by her stands against social injustice, including slavery in the United States, injustice toward Italian citizens by foreign rulers, and child labour.
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