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Cold Hands, Warm Hearth? Climate, Net Takeback, and Household Comfort

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  • Peter M. Schwarz
  • Thomas N. Taylor
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    Abstract

    Insulation reduces marginal heating cost and may lead to a takeback effect of higher wintertime thermostat settings, with a consequent dilution of energy savings. Alternatively, additional insulation could permit a lower thermostat setting by reducing drafts and radiation while increasing moisture retention, thereby enhancing comfort. This paper evaluates thermostat net takeback, the difference between takeback and enhanced comfort. Evidence supports the existence of both effects, with net takeback at the low end of literature estimates. Net thermostat takeback is on the order of 0.05 degrees F, leading to an energy takeback that ranges from 1-3% of potential energy savings, depending on climate and house size. Other significant determinants of thermostat are heating energy price and the presence of elderly or young occupants.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by International Association for Energy Economics in its journal The Energy Journal.

    Volume (Year): Volume16 (1995)
    Issue (Month): Number 1 ()
    Pages: 41-54

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    Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:1995v16-01-a03

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    Cited by:
    1. Sorrell, Steve & Dimitropoulos, John, 2008. "The rebound effect: Microeconomic definitions, limitations and extensions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 636-649, April.
    2. Freire González, Jaume, 2010. "Empirical evidence of direct rebound effect in Catalonia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 2309-2314, May.
    3. Patrizio, Lecca & Peter G., McGregor & J. Kim, Swales & Karen, Turner, 2013. "The added value from a general equilibrium analyses of increased efficiency in household energy use," SIRE Discussion Papers 2013-39, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    4. Thompson, Philip B, 1997. "Evaluating energy efficiency investments: accounting for risk in the discounting process," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(12), pages 989-996, October.
    5. Mansur, Erin T. & Mendelsohn, Robert & Morrison, Wendy, 2008. "Climate change adaptation: A study of fuel choice and consumption in the US energy sector," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 175-193, March.
    6. Yu, Biying & Zhang, Junyi & Fujiwara, Akimasa, 2013. "Evaluating the direct and indirect rebound effects in household energy consumption behavior: A case study of Beijing," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 441-453.
    7. Sorrell, Steve & Dimitropoulos, John & Sommerville, Matt, 2009. "Empirical estimates of the direct rebound effect: A review," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1356-1371, April.
    8. Oikonomou, V. & Becchis, F. & Steg, L. & Russolillo, D., 2009. "Energy saving and energy efficiency concepts for policy making," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4787-4796, November.
    9. Haberl, Helmut & Adensam, Heidi & Geissler, Susanne, 1998. "Optimal climate protection strategies for space heating The case of Austria," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(15), pages 1125-1135, December.

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