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Cash for Coolers

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  • Lucas W. Davis
  • Alan Fuchs
  • Paul J. Gertler

Abstract

This paper examines a large-scale appliance replacement program in Mexico that since 2009 has helped 1.5 million households replace their old refrigerators and air-conditioners with energy-efficient models. Using household-level electric billing records from the population of Mexican residential customers we find that refrigerator replacement reduces electricity consumption by an average of 11 kilowatt hours per month, about a 7% decrease. We find that air conditioning replacement, in contrast, increases electricity consumption by an average of 6 kilowatt hours per month, with larger increases during the summer. To put these results in context we present a simple conceptual framework in which energy-efficient durable goods cost less to operate, so households use them more. This behavioral response, sometimes called the “rebound” effect, is important for air-conditioners, but not important for refrigerators.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18044.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Publication status: published as Cash for Coolers: Evaluating a Large-Scale Appliance Replacement Program in Mexico” (with Alan Fuchs and Paul Gertler), American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, forthcoming.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18044

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  1. Arimura, Toshi H. & Newell, Richard G. & Palmer, Karen, 2009. "Cost-Effectiveness of Electricity Energy Efficiency Programs," Discussion Papers dp-09-48, Resources For the Future.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Air conditioners on the rebound
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-05-23 14:54:00
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Cited by:
  1. Wasi, Nada & Carson, Richard T., 2011. "The Influence of Rebate Programs on the Demand for Water Heaters: The Case of New South Wales," 2011 Conference (55th), February 8-11, 2011, Melbourne, Australia 100731, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.

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