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Free Riding, Upsizing, and Energy Efficiency Incentives in Maryland Homes

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  • Anna Alberini, Will Gans, and Charles Towe

Abstract

We use a unique dataset that combines an original survey of households, information about the structural characteristics of their homes, utility-provided electricity usage records and program participation status, to study the uptake of energy efficiency incentives and their effect on residential electricity consumption. Attention is restricted to homes where heating and cooling is provided exclusively by air-source heat pumps. We deploy a difference-in-difference study design and find that replacing a heat pump with a new one does reduce electricity usage by 8% on average. The effect differs dramatically across households based upon whether they receive an incentive towards the purchase of a new heat pump. Among incentive recipients, the effect is small, and the larger the incentive, the smaller the reduction in electricity usage. These findings suggest that capital costs are incorporated into the (long-term) cost of energy, generating an apparent rebound effect that is much more pronounced for incentive recipients.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Alberini, Will Gans, and Charles Towe, 2016. "Free Riding, Upsizing, and Energy Efficiency Incentives in Maryland Homes," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:ej37-1-alberini
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    Cited by:

    1. Wichman, Casey J. & Taylor, Laura O. & von Haefen, Roger H., 2016. "Conservation policies: Who responds to price and who responds to prescription?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 114-134.

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    • F0 - International Economics - - General

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