IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/eneeco/v84y2019is1s014098831930249x.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Cold Case: The forensic economics of energy efficiency labels for domestic refrigeration appliances

Author

Listed:
  • Goeschl, Timo

Abstract

Energy-efficiency labels are intended to better inform consumers at the point of sale about unobservable product characteristics. The EU Energy Label is globally one of the largest labeling schemes and obligates manufacturers of white goods to self-certify the energy efficiency index (EEI) of their product. The integrity of the scheme is reliant on manufacturers' compliance with the certification protocol and accurate declaration of the certification results. I construct a database that contains the testing data of 212 refrigeration devices sold on EU markets before and after the introduction of the label and compare self-reported and third-party verified EEIs. I find that under the label (1) there is evidence for bunching in self-certified EEIs, but not in verified EEIs, pointing to misreporting; (2) for the average model, self-certified EEIs understate equivalent energy consumption by 13 to %; (3) understatement clusters at class boundaries; and (4) well over half of the reporting discrepancy can be attributed to systematic factors rather than error. This can explain a significant share of the so-called 'Energy Efficiency Gap.' Before the introduction of the label, there is no evidence for bunching and substantially less underreporting of energy efficiency performance. In its current implementation, the EU Energy Label therefore plausibly induces misreporting, partly negating the intended information gains and impacting negatively on information-attentive consumers.

Suggested Citation

  • Goeschl, Timo, 2019. "Cold Case: The forensic economics of energy efficiency labels for domestic refrigeration appliances," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(S1).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:84:y:2019:i:s1:s014098831930249x
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2019.08.001
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S014098831930249X
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kenneth Gillingham & Karen Palmer, 2014. "Bridging the Energy Efficiency Gap: Policy Insights from Economic Theory and Empirical Evidence," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 8(1), pages 18-38, January.
    2. Todd D. Gerarden & Richard G. Newell & Robert N. Stavins, 2017. "Assessing the Energy-Efficiency Gap," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1486-1525, December.
    3. Andor, Mark & Gerster, Andreas & Sommer, Stephan, 2016. "Consumer Inattention and Decision Heuristics: The Causal Effects of Energy Label Elements," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145778, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Sallee, James M. & Slemrod, Joel, 2012. "Car notches: Strategic automaker responses to fuel economy policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 981-999.
    5. 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.
    6. Ramos, A. & Gago, A. & Labandeira, X. & Linares, P., 2015. "The role of information for energy efficiency in the residential sector," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(S1), pages 17-29.
    7. Sebastien Houde, 2018. "Bunching with the Stars: How Firms Respond to Environmental Certification," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 18/292, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    8. Chen Yuyu & Jin Ginger Zhe & Kumar Naresh & Shi Guang, 2012. "Gaming in Air Pollution Data? Lessons from China," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 13(3), pages 1-43, December.
    9. Jonathan Zinman & Eric Zitzewitz, 2016. "Wintertime for Deceptive Advertising?," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 177-192, January.
    10. Comerford, David A. & Lange, Ian & Moro, Mirko, 2018. "Proof of concept that requiring energy labels for dwellings can induce retrofitting," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 204-212.
    11. Mathias Reynaert & James M. Sallee, 2016. "Corrective Policy and Goodhart's Law: The Case of Carbon Emissions from Automobiles," NBER Working Papers 22911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Collins, Matthew & Curtis, John, 2018. "Bunching of residential building energy performance certificates at threshold values," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 211(C), pages 662-676.
    13. Henrik J. Kleven & Mazhar Waseem, 2013. "Using Notches to Uncover Optimization Frictions and Structural Elasticities: Theory and Evidence from Pakistan," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(2), pages 669-723.
    14. Cohen, François & Glachant, Matthieu & Söderberg, Magnus, 2017. "Consumer myopia, imperfect competition and the energy efficiency gap: Evidence from the UK refrigerator market," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 1-23.
    15. Brian E. Roe & Mario F. Teisl & Corin R. Deans, 2014. "The Economics of Voluntary Versus Mandatory Labels," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 407-427, October.
    16. Panzone, Luca A., 2013. "Saving money vs investing money: Do energy ratings influence consumer demand for energy efficient goods?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 51-63.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. de Miguel, Carlos & Filippini, Massimo & Labandeira, Xavier & Labeaga, José M. & Löschel, Andreas, 2019. "Low-carbon Transitions: Economics and Policy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(S1).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Giraudet, Louis-Gaëtan, 2020. "Energy efficiency as a credence good: A review of informational barriers to energy savings in the building sector," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C).
    2. Atasoy, Ayse Tugba, 2020. "Behavioral responses of green builders to discontinuous certification schemes," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    3. Schleich, Joachim & Gassmann, Xavier & Meissner, Thomas & Faure, Corinne, 2019. "A large-scale test of the effects of time discounting, risk aversion, loss aversion, and present bias on household adoption of energy-efficient technologies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 377-393.
    4. Andersen, Kristoffer Steen & Wiese, Catharina & Petrovic, Stefan & McKenna, Russell, 2020. "Exploring the role of households’ hurdle rates and demand elasticities in meeting Danish energy-savings target," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 146(C).
    5. Louis-Gaëtan Giraudet, 2018. "Energy efficiency as a credence good: A review of informational barriers to building energy savings," Working Papers 2018.07, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
    6. Matilde Giaccherini & David H. Herberich & David Jimenez-Gomez & John A. List & Giovanni Ponti & Michael K. Price, 2019. "The Behavioralist Goes Door-To-Door: Understanding Household Technological Diffusion Using a Theory-Driven Natural Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 26173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Löschel, Andreas & Lutz, Benjamin Johannes & Massier, Philipp, 2017. "Credit constraints, energy management practices, and investments in energy saving technologies: German manufacturing in close-up," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-072, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    8. Zhang, Dayong & Li, Jun & Ji, Qiang, 2020. "Does better access to credit help reduce energy intensity in China? Evidence from manufacturing firms," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 145(C).
    9. Laura Abrardi, 2019. "Behavioral barriers and the energy efficiency gap: a survey of the literature," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 46(1), pages 25-43, March.
    10. Bruno Lanz & Evert Reins, 2019. "Asymmetric information on the market for energy efficiency: Insights from the credence goods literature," IRENE Working Papers 19-03, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.
    11. Cohen, François & Glachant, Matthieu & Söderberg, Magnus, 2017. "The impact of energy prices on product innovation: Evidence from the UK refrigerator market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(S1), pages 81-88.
    12. Cohen, François & Glachant, Matthieu & Söderberg, Magnus, 2017. "Consumer myopia, imperfect competition and the energy efficiency gap: Evidence from the UK refrigerator market," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 1-23.
    13. Basher, Syed Abul & Raboy, David G., 2018. "The misuse of net present value in energy efficiency standards," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 218-225.
    14. Stadelmann, Marcel & Schubert, Renate, 2018. "How Do Different Designs of Energy Labels Influence Purchases of Household Appliances? A Field Study in Switzerland," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 112-123.
    15. Dalia Streimikiene & Tomas Balezentis & Irena Alebaite, 2020. "Climate Change Mitigation in Households between Market Failures and Psychological Barriers," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(11), pages 1-21, June.
    16. Bian, Xueying & Fabra, Natalia, 2020. "Incentives for information provision: Energy efficiency in the Spanish rental market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C).
    17. Trotta, Gianluca, 2018. "Factors affecting energy-saving behaviours and energy efficiency investments in British households," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 529-539.
    18. Dong, Xiao & Klaiber, H. Allen, 2019. "Consumer stockpiling in response to the U.S. EISA “light bulb ban”," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 566-576.
    19. Samdruk Dharshing & Stefanie Lena Hille, 2017. "The Energy Paradox Revisited: Analyzing the Role of Individual Differences and Framing Effects in Information Perception," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 485-508, December.
    20. Meredith Fowlie & Michael Greenstone & Catherine Wolfram, 2018. "Do Energy Efficiency Investments Deliver? Evidence from the Weatherization Assistance Program," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(3), pages 1597-1644.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Forensic economics; Misreporting; Energy efficiency; Consumer durables; Product labeling; Compliance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability; Forensic Economics
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:84:y:2019:i:s1:s014098831930249x. 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: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eneco .

    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.