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Does energy efficiency save energy? The debate and its consequences

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  • Herring, Horace
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    This paper considers the debate in the UK and the USA on some economists' claims that improving energy efficiency will lead to a greater energy consumption (than would have otherwise occurred), a concept termed the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate. It analyses the criticisms of this claim and of the responses, particularly of the concept of [`]dematerialization'. The paper attempts to tackle the paucity of empirical evidence in the UK by looking at long-term trends in efficiency and use with respect to UK public lighting. Finally, it focuses on the views of two economists, namely Len Brookes and William Rees, who both accept the postulate but have differing views and policies on measures to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels. Brookes believes in free-market solutions, whereas Rees puts forward a vision of a sustainable future based on ecological tax-reform and reafforestation.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Applied Energy.

    Volume (Year): 63 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 3 (July)
    Pages: 209-226

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:63:y:1999:i:3:p:209-226
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    1. J. Daniel Khazzoom, 1987. "Energy Saving Resulting from the Adoption of More Efficient Appliances," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 85-89.
    2. Chesshire, John, 1986. "An energy-efficient future : A strategy for the UK," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 395-412, October.
    3. Sioshansi, Fereidoon P, 1996. "Editor's introduction : DSM in transition: from mandates to markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 283-284, April.
    4. Maddison, David, 1995. "A cost-benefit analysis of slowing climate change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 337-346.
    5. Leach, Gerald, 1991. "Policies to reduce energy use and carbon emissions in the UK," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(10), pages 918-925, December.
    6. Sutherland, Ronald J, 1996. "The economics of energy conservation policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 361-370, April.
    7. Alan Manne & Richard Richels, 1995. "The Greenhouse Debate: Econonmic Efficiency, Burden Sharing and Hedging Strategies," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 1-38.
    8. Schipper, Lee, 1987. "Energy conservation policies in the OECD did they make a difference?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 538-548, December.
    9. Sioshansi, Fereidoon P., 1994. "Restraining energy demand : The stick, the carrot, or the market?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 378-392, May.
    10. Greening, Lorna A. & Davis, William B. & Schipper, Lee & Khrushch, Marta, 1997. "Comparison of six decomposition methods: application to aggregate energy intensity for manufacturing in 10 OECD countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 375-390, July.
    11. Keepin, Bill & Kats, Gregory, 1988. "Greenhouse warming : Comparative analysis of nuclear and efficiency abatement strategies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 538-561, December.
    12. Sam H. Schurr, 1982. "Energy Efficiency and Productive Efficiency: Some Thoughts Based on American Experience," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 3-14.
    13. Schurr, Sam H., 1985. "Energy conservation and productivity growth : Can we have both?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 126-132, April.
    14. Saunders, Harry D., 1984. "The macrodynamics of energy shocks, short- and long-run," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-34, January.
    15. Alan S. Manne & Richard G. Richels, 1990. "CO2 Emission Limits: An Economic Cost Analysis for the USA," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 51-74.
    16. J. Daniel Khazzoom, 1980. "Economic Implications of Mandated Efficiency in Standards for Household Appliances," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 21-40.
    17. Richard B. Howarth, 1997. "Energy Efficiency And Economic Growth," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(4), pages 1-9, October.
    18. Grubb, M. J., 1990. "Communication Energy efficiency and economic fallacies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(8), pages 783-785, October.
    19. Grubb, Michael, 1992. "Reply to Brookes," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 392-393, May.
    20. Brookes, L. G., 1992. "Energy efficiency and economic fallacies: a reply," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 390-392, May.
    21. Brookes, L. G., 1993. "Energy efficiency fallacies: the debate concluded," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 346-347, April.
    22. Schipper, Lee, 1991. "Improved energy efficiency in the industrialized countries Past achievements, CO2 emission prospects," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 127-137, March.
    23. Harty D. Saunders, 1992. "The Khazzoom-Brookes Postulate and Neoclassical Growth," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 131-148.
    24. William W. Hogan & Dale W. Jorgenson, 1991. "Productivity Trends and the Cost of Reducing CO2 Emissions," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 67-86.
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