IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The influence of rebate programs on the demand for water heaters: The case of New South Wales


  • Wasi, Nada
  • Carson, Richard T.


This paper examines the role of Australian hot water system rebate programs in shifting the existing stock of electric water heaters toward more climate friendly versions using two unique data sets from New South Wales homeowners. The first data set is based on a survey of households who recently purchased a water heater before and after the rebate programs were in place. The other is based on a set of stated preference questions asked of households soon to face a replacement decision. While the former allows us to look at recent responses, the latter enables us to forecast future demand. We find that the programs significantly increase shares of solar/heat pump systems. The programs, however, appear less effective in reducing the stock of electric heaters for households with access to natural gas. This pattern is consistent in both datasets. Results from the discrete choice experiments suggest considerable heterogeneity with respect to household preferences toward different types of water heaters and the discount rates they hold. The effective cost of reducing carbon emissions via incentives for water heater replacement is considered from the counterfactual perspective of no government incentives.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:40:y:2013:i:c:p:645-656 DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2013.08.009

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert Bartels & Denzil Fiebig & Arthur Soest, 2006. "Consumers and experts: an econometric analysis of the demand for water heaters," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 369-391, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Dubin, Jeffrey A & McFadden, Daniel L, 1984. "An Econometric Analysis of Residential Electric Appliance Holdings and Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 345-362, March.
    4. Pedro Linares & Xavier Labandeira, 2010. "Energy Efficiency: Economics And Policy," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 573-592, July.
    5. Grösche, Peter & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Vance, Colin, 2009. "Identifying Free-Riding in Energy-Conservation Programs Using Revealed Preference Data," Ruhr Economic Papers 99, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    6. Michelsen, Carl Christian & Madlener, Reinhard, 2012. "Homeowners' preferences for adopting innovative residential heating systems: A discrete choice analysis for Germany," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 1271-1283.
    7. Peter Grosche & Colin Vance, 2009. "Willingness to Pay for Energy Conservation and Free-Ridership on Subsidization: Evidence from Germany," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 135-154.
    8. Louviere,Jordan J. & Hensher,David A. & Swait,Joffre D. With contributions by-Name:Adamowicz,Wiktor, 2000. "Stated Choice Methods," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521788304, March.
    9. Hunt Allcott & Michael Greenstone, 2012. "Is There an Energy Efficiency Gap?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 3-28, Winter.
    10. Lucas W. Davis & Alan Fuchs & Paul J. Gertler, 2012. "Cash for Coolers," NBER Working Papers 18044, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Scarpa, R. & Thiene, M. & Train, K., 2008. "Appendix to Utility in WTP space: a tool to address confounding random scale effects in destination choice to the Alps," American Journal of Agricultural Economics Appendices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(4), November.
    12. Banfi, Silvia & Farsi, Mehdi & Filippini, Massimo & Jakob, Martin, 2008. "Willingness to pay for energy-saving measures in residential buildings," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 503-516, March.
    13. Paul L. Joskow & Donald B. Marron, 1992. "What Does a Negawatt Really Cost? Evidence from Utility Conservation Programs," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 41-74.
    14. Daniel McFadden & Kenneth Train, 2000. "Mixed MNL models for discrete response," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 447-470.
    15. Train,Kenneth E., 2009. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521747387, March.
    16. Jeffrey A. Dubin, 1986. "A Nested Logit Model of Space and Water Heat System Choice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 5(2), pages 112-124.
    17. Denzil G. Fiebig & Michael P. Keane & Jordan Louviere & Nada Wasi, 2010. "The Generalized Multinomial Logit Model: Accounting for Scale and Coefficient Heterogeneity," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(3), pages 393-421, 05-06.
    18. Jerry A. Hausman, 1979. "Individual Discount Rates and the Purchase and Utilization of Energy-Using Durables," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 33-54, Spring.
    19. David Revelt & Kenneth Train, 1998. "Mixed Logit With Repeated Choices: Households' Choices Of Appliance Efficiency Level," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 647-657, November.
    20. Yazid Dissou and Muhammad Shahid Siddiqui, 2013. "Regional Trade Agreements, Emissions Bubbles, and Carbon Tariff Harmonization," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).
    21. Goto, Hisanori & Goto, Mika & Sueyoshi, Toshiyuki, 2011. "Consumer choice on ecologically efficient water heaters: Marketing strategy and policy implications in Japan," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 195-208, March.
    22. Sorrell, Steve & Dimitropoulos, John & Sommerville, Matt, 2009. "Empirical estimates of the direct rebound effect: A review," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1356-1371, April.
    23. Riccardo Scarpa & Mara Thiene & Kenneth Train, 2008. "Utility in Willingness to Pay Space: A Tool to Address Confounding Random Scale Effects in Destination Choice to the Alps," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(4), pages 994-1010.
    24. Allenby, Greg M. & Rossi, Peter E., 1998. "Marketing models of consumer heterogeneity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1-2), pages 57-78, November.
    25. Gillingham, Kenneth, 2009. "Economic efficiency of solar hot water policy in New Zealand," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3336-3347, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Eimear Leahy & Richard Tol, 2012. "Greener homes: an ex-post estimate of the cost of carbon dioxide emission reduction using administrative micro-data from the Republic of Ireland," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 14(3), pages 219-239, July.
    2. Edel Doherty & Danny Campbell & Stephen Hynes, 2013. "Models of Site-choice for Walks in Rural Ireland: Exploring Cost Heterogeneity," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 446-466, June.
    3. repec:eee:enepol:v:113:y:2018:i:c:p:559-570 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Doherty, Edel & Campbell, Danny & Hynes, Stephen, 2012. "Exploring cost heterogeneity in recreational demand," Working Papers 148832, Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit, National University of Ireland, Galway.
    5. Hlavinka, Alexander N. & Mjelde, James W. & Dharmasena, Senarath & Holland, Christine, 2016. "Forecasting the adoption of residential ductless heat pumps," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 60-67.
    6. Higgins, Andrew & McNamara, Cheryl & Foliente, Greg, 2014. "Modelling future uptake of solar photo-voltaics and water heaters under different government incentives," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 142-155.
    7. Wanwiphang Manachotphong & Jirawat Panpiemras & Nada Wasi, 2016. "The Role of Reimbursement Approaches on Healthcare Demand: The Case of Thai Civil Servants Medical Benefit Scheme," PIER Discussion Papers 48, Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research, revised Nov 2016.
    8. Daniel A. Brent & Michael Ward, 2017. "Energy Efficiency and Financial Literacy," Departmental Working Papers 2017-04, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.

    More about this item


    Climate change mitigation; Energy conservation programs; Consumer appliance choices; Discrete choice experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:40:y:2013:i:c:p:645-656. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.