For several years the world has grappled with a rising energy challenge, the current global COVID-19 pandemic has, however, added to this crisis and left an undeniable impact on society and energy use. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), although global energy consumption dropped in 2020, there was an increase in household energy demand due to lockdowns around the world. In recent times, various innovative technologies have been developed to promote renewable energy or reduce energy consumption. The scope of this paper lies within the debate associated with mandatory policies on such building and energy technologies, and related stakeholder views. The conflict of opinion stems from the fact that although there is a need for these innovations, novel technologies tend to be expensive or sometimes, complicated. The aim of this study is to explore the two sides of this debate and outline a rationale for guiding energy and building related policies. This investigation was conducted using an exploratory qualitative model and a series of semi-structured interviews with eighty-six residents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The example of Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) was used as a case study energy innovation and study participants were selected from various occupations and backgrounds across the country. The thematic analysis of the findings suggests that there is a strong belief that mandatory policies are necessary to promote innovation adoption. On the other hand, however, it was the opinion of some study participants that complexities in application, high-cost and certain social dynamics discourage residents from applying said technology. It was opined that the government could reduce these challenges using various supporting policies and initiatives. The study provides a balanced debate to the case of innovation adoption in cities and provides guideposts for renewable energy policy formulation.