Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) aim to inform owners, occupiers, tenants, real estate agents and other relevant groups about the energy efficiency of buildings. Although house buyers and renters often recognize these certificates, they often do not use them. One explanation for this is lack of trust in these certificates. This paper presents the results of an online survey (n = 354), in which the role of perceived source credibility, trust in the certificate and people’s involvement in energy efficiency was studied on renters’ attitudes towards EPCs in Ireland, so-called BER labels. The results showed that trust is a key determinant for attitudes to EPCs, i.e., attitudes to EPCs become more positive when people trust them. However, how trust is used for the formation of attitudes depends on cognitive involvement (i.e., referring to information processing activities and the achievement of idealization states) and affective involvement (referring to feelings and achievements of certain emotional states). These two types of involvement moderate the effect of trust on attitudes to EPCs in different ways: high-cognitive involvement amplifies the effect of trust on attitudes, whereas high-affective involvement suppresses the effect of trust on attitudes. This has important theoretical implications, as both are often measured together. Equally important are the policy implications: we conclude that if trust levels are relatively high, policies focusing on increasing cognitive involvement are more likely to be effective, whereas if trust in EPCs is low, policy strategies should aim to enhance affective involvement.
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