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Household Discount Rates Revisited

  • Raymond S. Hartman
  • Michael J. Doane
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    Energy policy analysts (Hausman [1979], Hartman [1984], Houston [1983], Hutton [1980], and Olsen [1984]) increasingly rely on some notion of life-cycle costing for predicting how consumers will choose among alternative energy-using durable-good investments. These techniques have been important for understanding and analyzing the household purchase of new, relatively-untested appliance technologies (such as solar water heaters and more efficient refrigerators), new energy sources (such as solar photovoltaics), and capital-intensive conservation investments (such as increased home insulation, storm windows, and water heat wraps). In all of these cases, consumers face options in which a higher capital cost will purchase lower operating costs over the life of the particular pieces of equipment. We assume consumers evaluate these energy-using durables as they would any other investment. They compare and discount, over the life of the investments, the costs and financial benefits of alternatives and choose the option(s) offering the largest expected benefit.

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

    Volume (Year): Volume 7 (1986)
    Issue (Month): Number 1 ()
    Pages: 139-148

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    Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:1986v07-01-a09
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