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Adoption of innovation: Wood pellet heating system in the renewable residential energy context

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisCollection of Articles


Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTamepre
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Number of pages69
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-15-2484-4
ISBN (Print)978-952-15-2357-1
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2010
Publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Publication series

NameTampere University of Technology. Publication
PublisherTampere University of Technology
ISSN (Print)1459-2045


Getting a new idea widely adopted is difficult. For companies, therefore, it is fundamental that customers are willing to adopt the provided idea or a technological system. Understanding customers, their perceptions, and the attributes influencing the decision to adopt is essential. Thus, this research focused on customers of residential heating, particularly wood pellet heating systems. Accordingly, this research dissects the adoption of innovation in a renewable residential heating energy context, particularly what influences the decision to adopt the wood pellet heating system. A vast amount of literature on the adoption of innovation was reviewed from the innovation and customer perspectives. To gain information about customers and their perceptions, a survey (N=154) was conducted in 2007. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used in analyzing the results; in particular, the content analysis method was utilized. The research results showed that personal attributes influence issues related to the adoption of wood pellet heating systems. In particular, first, men had more perceived familiarity and knowledge than women regarding issues related to the adoption of wood pellet heating systems. Second, age influenced the intention to select a new heating system; the intention to do so was greater in respondents aged 35-44 compared to those aged 25-34. Furthermore, the research demonstrated that information related to wood pellet and related technologies is communicated in several kinds of publications and that communication increased during the observation period, especially during the 21st century. In addition, the perceived acquisition factors, i.e., barriers and criteria, of the wood pellet heating system influencing the decision to adopt the system were examined. The factors were primarily categorized according to Rogers’ characteristics of innovation. The categorization showed differences between characteristics of innovation influencing the decision to adopt a wood pellet heating system. In particular, the results demonstrated that relative advantage was the predominant characteristic influencing the decision to adopt these particular heating systems. The combination of theoretical perspectives on the innovation characteristics and the value for customers indicated that perceptions and adoption decision factors interlock with the value for customers. In conclusion, this research explored attributes influencing the decision to adopt wood pellet heating systems. The research contributes to the adoption of innovation literature by providing multiple findings analyzed by several theories in the context of renewable residential heating systems. Thus, this research can be considered further improvement in the management of innovation and technology research field. Suggestions are provided for managerial practices, energy policy, and future research. Ultimately, this research will guide further research to increase our knowledge.

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Field of science, Statistics Finland

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