The "Warm Houses" program: Insulating existing buildings through compulsory retrofits

Tek Sheng Kevin LO*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The importance of insulating the existing building stock in the age of climate change and energy scarcity is well recognized, but effective public policies for doing so have not been forthcoming. This paper analyzes a novel approach pioneered by the city of Changchun in northeast China. Since 2010, the municipal authority has implemented a program to refurbish nearly half a million homes with wall and roof insulation and energy-efficient windows and doors. The success of this program is attributed to an assertive approach and an efficient, government-sponsored funding model. However, the program faces several challenges, including a lack of effective supervision, the negative impact on poor households, and ineffective energy-saving due to a lack of progress in heat-metering reform. This paper concludes by discussing the policy implications of this analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-67
Number of pages5
JournalSustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Building insulation retrofits
  • China
  • Policy analysis


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