Abstract for: Misconceptions regarding the self-attenuation of residential energy retrofitting policies? Validation via disaggregation

The reduction of heat energy consumption of buildings constitutes an important pillar in the greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies in Germany. This research investigates whether these strategies may suffer from a misconception of dynamic feedback. At first, a very simple model is introduced, as a hypothesis of oversimplified mental models in use. It is contrasted with a very simple dynamic model, which is then elaborated to more complex model versions by including more structural detail to test its validity. This seems to refute the initial hypothesis at first but with further disaggregation supports it again. However, model elaboration also surfaced that stock depletion may be partly circumvented by certain policies, but it is uncertain for how long. Since therefore simple mental models could lead to correct inferences about short-term system behavior, it may be difficult for actors to discover their misconception. This highlights the need to reduce this uncertainty.