Energy efficiency policies and the rebound effect
The Climate and Energy Decision Making Center (CEDM) at Carnegie Mellon University (USA) and the University of Stuttgart (Germany), as part of a collaborative research activity facilitated by IRGC, have organised in 2011 two workshops on the topic of “Energy Efficiency Policies and the Rebound Effect”.
The objective of these workshops was to identify and develop research needs in respect to different approaches to measuring direct and indirect rebound effects that may arise from investments in and policies regarding energy efficiency.
Conclusions from both workshops
- While rebound effects could be large in the developing world, among low income groups, and in the production sector of the economy, there has been too little study of these group.
- Among reasonable well-to-do consumers, rebound effects appear to be modest (typically < 15%).
- There is very little evidence of rebound effects exceeding 100% (so called “backfire”).
- In situations in which empirical analyses suggest that rebound effects are non-negligible, these effects should be considered in the design of policy program.
- Care should be taken that energy efficiency policies are not called into question in general.
- So far, rebound effects are neglected in energy scenarios and models. Clear definitions and common wording for rebound effect are needed.
- The Rebound Effect: Implications of Consumer Behaviour for Robust Energy Policies (Report, 2013) (pdf)
Carnegie Mellon University press release on Rebound Effect (April 2013)
Press Release: Carnegie Mellon Researchers Find Modest Rebound Effects From Energy Efficiency Efforts