People’s willingness to switch to greener heating will be surveyed by scientists from ECON MUNI

15 Feb 2024 Jana Sosnová

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Local heating significantly worsens air quality in the Czech Republic. Scientists from ECON MUNI and RECETOX are looking for solutions and have been monitoring air quality in selected municipalities in the South Moravian Region since last autumn. The measurements are now followed by a questionnaire survey and interviews to discover under what conditions people are willing to change the way they heat their homes.

What do residents of municipalities located in South Moravia know about the impact of air pollution on their health? And what do they think is the best way to improve air quality? These and other questions will be answered by Dr. Dominika Tóthová and Associate Professor Vilém Pařil from ECON MUNI. The questionnaire survey is a follow-up to the measurement of air quality in six South Moravian municipalities and two districts of Brno, which has been carried out since the last autumn by a research team from the RECETOX centre.

Air quality is significantly degraded by old solid fuel boilers, in which people burn things that do not belong in them. The anonymous questionnaire survey will investigate the type and characteristics of housing, heating methods and household behaviour in relation to the effect on the outdoor and indoor air quality. Researchers will determine awareness of the relationship between air quality and health risks and preferences for reducing them. "The questionnaire will include an economic experiment in which respondents will choose between different alternatives in a hypothetical situation. This will allow us to assess their preferences and behaviour in different economic situations," explains Dominika Tóthová. Thanks to this, the research team will discover how people perceive health risks and under what conditions they are willing to change the way they heat their houses and apartments. The results of the survey will be available at the end of April.

The research is part of the AIRSENS project, which involves scientists from Masaryk University, Brno City Hall, and the South Moravian Region. The cooperating institution is NILU - Norwegian Institute for Air Research.

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