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Rebound effect (conservation)

About: Rebound effect (conservation) is a(n) research topic. Over the lifetime, 773 publication(s) have been published within this topic receiving 25741 citation(s).

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Abstract: Technology policies are one of the options available for the reduction of carbon emissions and the usage of energy. However, gains in the efficiency of energy consumption will result in an effective reduction in the per unit price of energy services. As a result, consumption of energy services should increase (i.e., “rebound” or “take-back”), partially offsetting the impact of the efficiency gain in fuel use. Definitions of the “rebound” effect vary in the literature and among researchers. Depending on the boundaries used for the effect, the size or magnitude of this behavioral response may vary. This review of some of the relevant literature from the US offers definitions and identifies sources including direct, secondary, and economy-wide sources. We then offer a summary of the available empirical evidence for the effect for various sources. For the energy end uses for which studies are available, we conclude that the range of estimates for the size of the rebound effect is very low to moderate.

1,709 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: It has long been realized that improving energy efficiency releases an economic reaction that partially offsets the original energy saving. As the energy efficiency of some process improves, the process becomes cheaper, thereby providing an incentive to increase its use. Thus total energy consumption changes less than proportionally to changes in physical energy efficiency. For motor vehicles, the process under consideration is use of fuel in producing vehicle-miles traveled (VMT). Our empirical specification is based on a simple aggregate model that simultaneously determines VMT, vehicles, and fuel efficiency. The coefficient on the lagged dependent variable implies considerable inertia in behavior, with people adjusting their travel in a given year by just 21 percent of the ultimate response to a permanent change. The equation exhibits only mild autocorrelation, giving people confidence that their specification accounts for most influences that move sluggishly over time.

798 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Beginning with William Stanley Jevons in 1865, a number of authors have claimed that economically justified energy-efficiency improvements will increase rather than reduce energy consumption. 'Jevons Paradox' is extremely difficult to test empirically, but could have profound implications for energy and climate policy. This paper summarises and critiques the arguments and evidence that have been cited in support of Jevons' Paradox, focusing in particular on the work of Len Brookes and Harry Saunders. It identifies some empirical and theoretical weaknesses in these arguments, highlights the questions they raise for economic orthodoxy and points to some interesting parallels between these arguments and those used by the 'biophysical' school of ecological economics. While the evidence in favour of 'Jevons Paradox' is far from conclusive, it does suggest that economy-wide rebound effects are larger than is conventionally assumed and that energy plays a more important role in driving productivity improvements and economic growth than is conventionally assumed. 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

774 citations

01 Jan 2007
Abstract: The UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) has launched a major new report on how 'Rebound Effects' can result in energy savings falling short of expectations, thereby threatening the success of UK climate policy. An example of a rebound effect would be the driver who replaces a car with a fuel-efficient model, only to take advantage of its cheaper running costs to drive further and more often. Or a family that insulates their loft and puts the money saved on their heating bill towards an overseas holiday.

734 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The rebound effect results in part from an increased consumption of energy services following an improvement in the technical efficiency of delivering those services. This increased consumption offsets the energy savings that may otherwise be achieved. If the rebound effect is sufficiently large it may undermine the rationale for policy measures to encourage energy efficiency. The nature and magnitude of the rebound effect is the focus of long-running dispute with energy economics. This paper brings together previous theoretical work to provide a rigorous definition of the rebound effect, to clarify key conceptual issues and to highlight the potential consequences of various assumptions for empirical estimates of the effect. The focus is on the direct rebound effect for a single energy service — indirect and economy-wide rebound effects are not discussed. Beginning with Khazzoom's original definition of the rebound effect, we expose the limitations of three simplifying assumptions on which this definition is based. First, we argue that capital costs form an important part of the total cost of providing energy services and that empirical studies that estimate rebound effects from variations in energy prices are prone to bias. Second, we argue that energy efficiency should be treated as an endogenous variable and that empirical estimates of the rebound effect may need to apply a simultaneous equation model to capture the joint determination of key variables. Third, we explore the implications of the opportunity costs of time in the production of energy services and highlight the consequences for energy use of improved ‘time efficiency’, the influence of time costs on the rebound effect and the existence of a parallel rebound effect with respect to time. Each of these considerations serves to highlight the difficulties in obtaining reliable estimates of the rebound effect and the different factors that need to be controlled for. We discuss the implications of these findings for econometric studies and argue that several existing studies may overestimate the magnitude of the effect.

671 citations

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