Two PhD positions for clean energy investment and renovation decisions- from transaction costs and behavioural perspective

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Title of PhD Program: Two PhD positions for clean energy investment and renovation decisions- from transaction costs and behavioural perspective 

Description of PhD Program:

We are hiring 2 doctoral candidates, who will work on the Human System of a larger NWA-ORC project- ALIGN4energy, together with a broad interdisciplinary consortium of universities, and public and private organizations. The 4-year project ALIGN4Energy, funded by the Netherlands Science Foundation (NWO), aims to contribute to deploying clean energy technologies in residential homes rapidly and at scale.

The ALIGN4energy consortium provides a total of 11 PhD positions aimed to simultaneously address the citizens, policy, and business perspectives of the residential energy transition. These 2 PhD positions offered by TU Delft will be hosted at the Department of Management in the Built Environment, at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment.

These two PhDs will be working on workpackage 1 on Human System of the ALIGN4energ project. The energy and the climate crisis reinforced the urgency of energy efficiency in residential buildings in Europe. To meet its climate targets, the Netherlands needs to decarbonize the residential sector.

This requires that a large number of distributed actors (households, owners associations, social housing associations, and citizen collectives) invest in clean energy technologies rapidly and at scale.

Yet citizens individually (homeowners, tenants) and collectively (housing associations, homeowners’ associations, etc) delay investment in energy-related home renovation due to high information, coordination and transaction costs. The complex decision-making process encountered by internal (cognitive biases) and external (transaction costs incurred with other stakeholders) challenges.

1. PhD 1 will focus on the owner-occupied housing sector and investigates how homeowners’ preferences, barriers, and biases prevent their investments as well as participation in home energy efficiency demand response. The candidate will not only focus on the individual decision making of homeowners but also explore the collective decision-making of homeowners associations (with only owner occupiers or mixed ownership including housing associations) and other stakeholders (i.e., service and clean energy project suppliers) play a role in influencing the individual decisions.

2. PhD 2 will focus on the social housing and privately rented housing sector and investigates the role of housing associations and institutional/ private landlords in leading the energy efficiency renovation of their existing housing stocks. How to activate the tenants in reaching to 70% agreement on the renovation proposal? How to deal with the split incentives between the landlords and tenants? What are the financial incentives to be tailored -made (considering cognitive biases & behavioural patterns of the target tenants) and hassles (transaction costs) to be removed or facilitated in the renovation decision and processes?

Application procedure

For information about the application procedure, please contact Queena Kun Qian, e-mail: or Henk Visscher, e-mail:

For information about the selection procedure, please contact Caro Coemans, HR Advisor, email:

Deadline: June 20, 2022 (local Dutch time: UTC+2)

Apply here

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