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Regional Trade Agreements, Emissions Bubbles, and Carbon Tariff Harmonization

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  • Yazid Dissou and Muhammad Shahid Siddiqui

Abstract

In May 2010, we surveyed 473 Swiss homeowners about their preferences for energy efficiency renovations in their homes. We used conjoint choice experiments that asked respondents to choose among hypothetical energy efficiency renovation projects. We find that homeowners are responsive to the upfront costs of the renovation projects, the savings in energy expenses, the time horizon over which such savings would be realized, and the thermal comfort improvement afforded by such renovations. Even more important, the likelihood of undertaking energy-efficiency renovations increases with the size of the subsidy offered by the Swiss federal government. At least for an average-sized project, we find that the impact of a rebate is comparable to that of an improvement in the thermal comfort of the home. The savings in the annual energy bills and the duration of the investment are less important. The discount rate implicit in the responses to the conjoint choice experiments is low. Depending on the specification of the random utility model, the discount rate ranges from 1.5 to about 3%. This is consistent with the point in Hassett and Metcalf (1993) and Metcalf and Rosenthal (1995), and with the fact that our scenarios contain no uncertainty. Respondents who feel completely uncertain about future energy prices are more likely to select the status quo (no renovations) in any given choice task and weight the cost of the investments more heavily than those respondents who expect energy prices to increase in the future. The hypothetical renovations are more likely to take place when respondents believe that climate change considerations should be an important determinant of home renovations.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): Volume 34 (2013)
Issue (Month): Number 2 ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:ej34-2-03

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References

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  1. Arik Levinson, 2001. "Energy Use By Apartment Tenants When Landlords Pay For Utilities," Working Papers gueconwpa~01-01-09, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Greene, David L., 2011. "Uncertainty, loss aversion, and markets for energy efficiency," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 608-616, July.
  3. Silvia Banfi & Mehdi Farsi & Massimo Filippini & Martin Jakob, 2005. "Willingness to Pay for Energy-Saving Measures in Residential Buildings," CEPE Working paper series 05-41, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
  4. Cutter, W. Bowman & Neidell, Matthew, 2009. "Voluntary information programs and environmental regulation: Evidence from 'Spare the Air'," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 253-265, November.
  5. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  6. Ronald Cummings & Mary Beth Walker, 2000. "Measuring the effectiveness of voluntary emission reduction programmes," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(13), pages 1719-1726.
  7. Scarpa, Riccardo & Willis, Ken, 2010. "Willingness-to-pay for renewable energy: Primary and discretionary choice of British households' for micro-generation technologies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 129-136, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Wasi, Nada & Carson, Richard T., 2013. "The influence of rebate programs on the demand for water heaters: The case of New South Wales," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 645-656.
  2. Achtnicht, Martin & Madlener, Reinhard, 2012. "Factors influencing German house owners' preferences on energy retrofits," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-042, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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