After the children have left the family home, many elderly people remain in their large apartments or houses. However, this is detrimental to the climate and the environment due to the energy cost generated not only by heating energy, but also by so-called grey energy consumed when new dwellings have to be built, while elsewhere there are unused living spaces. The potential for energy savings is enormous, especially for the ageing baby boom generation.
The researchers involved in this project sought to determine how to motivate senior citizens to adopt more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly housing options. In more than 80 interviews conducted in German-speaking and French-speaking Switzerland, the researchers asked elderly people about their housing situation. Respondents were either homeowners, co-owners, or tenants in apartments, cooperatives and retirement homes.