FEEM working papers "Note di lavoro"
2019.013
Date: 4/6/2019

The Adverse Effect of Energy-Efficiency Policy


Authors: Achim Voss (University of Hamburg - Department of Economics)
JEL n.: Q41, Q48, D15
Keywords: Energy Efficiency, Rebound Effects, Household Heterogeneity, Extensive Margin, Gruenspecht Effect, Investment, Theory of Environmental Policy

Abstract

I analyze energy-efficiency policy as a prescription of a minimum-efficiency standard for energy-using household goods like cars, building insulation, and home appliances. Such a policy has two effects. At the intensive margin, a household that invests will choose a more efficient device. At the extensive margin, there will be more households that choose not to invest at all. Thus, additional to and different from rebound effects, energy-efficiency policy may have unintended consequences. I analyze the equilibrium effects of a minimum-efficiency standard, taking price adjustments and household heterogeneity into account. A moderate minimum-efficiency standard increases demand for efficiency-enhancing household capital goods, and reduces energy demand. More stringent policy is shown to be less effective or even counterproductive. For the case of a fixed supply of efficiency-enhancing capital, it is shown that minimum-efficiency standards increase equilibrium energy demand. Finally, I analyze which households benefit from minimum-efficiency standards and which ones lose. A standard induces investing households to expend more for household capital and less for energy. The wedge between the induced expenditures and the private optimum is analyzed as a deadweight loss.

***

Suggested citation: Voss, A. (2019), 'The Adverse Effect of Energy-Efficiency Policy', Nota di Lavoro 13.2019, Milano, Italy: Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

Download file
Download file

FEEM Newsletter & Update

Subscribe to stay connected.

Your data will be processed by FEEM - Eni Enrico Mattei Foundation - Data Controller - to receive the Foundation's Newsletter & Update via e-mail. To send the requested information, the Data Controller uses e-mail sending service providers established in the U.S.A .: for this, your consent to the transfer of your email address to the U.S.A. is required, without which it will not be possible to comply with your request. We invite you to consult the complete information to obtain detailed information to protect your rights.