Valuing energy solutions in the housing markets : the role of market devices and real estate agents

Mikko Jalas*, Jenny Rinkinen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


New energy technologies present opportunities for low-carbon housing but also significant upfront costs for house owners. Due to the long service life of such technologies, market valuation impacts on the feasibility of such investments. Yet, existing evidence on the market valuation of energy investments in private housing is inconclusive. Furthermore, despite significant policy efforts, energy performance certificates remain ineffective. This paper addresses these gaps with a study of real estate agents and the use of market devices, such as tools, databases, classification schemes, inspection protocols and market practices. Our analytical framework builds on the sociology of markets, actor network theory and pragmatist theories of valuation in order to highlight the material and discursive assemblages and arrangements that intervene in the construction of markets. Drawing on empirical evidence from Finland, the results point to asymmetries in market devices and valuation practices that disfavour energy investments compared to the other key quality attributes of housing.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalHousing Studies
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Oct 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Energy solutions
  • market valuation
  • real estate agents


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