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Returns to residential energy efficiency and conservation measures: A field experiment

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  • Suter, Jordan F.
  • Shammin, Md Rumi

Abstract

Residential energy conservation is a key component of contemporary energy and climate change policy in the US and elsewhere. Comparisons of the relative effectiveness of measures aimed at reducing residential energy consumption are made challenging, however, by the endogeneity of technology and energy use decisions. In this paper we describe a novel small-scale field experiment that uses randomized treatments to estimate the returns to three types of energy conservation measures in institutionally owned homes. The results from the experiment indicate considerable reductions in natural gas consumption associated with the installation of attic insulation and the provision of incentives for conservation. The results are supported by observations of ambient indoor temperature data, which show that households receiving incentives significantly reduce their temperature settings—especially when coupled with access to a programmable thermostat. The study will ideally provide guidance for institutions and communities considering energy efficiency measures and for future researchers designing randomized experiments to study residential energy use.

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  • Suter, Jordan F. & Shammin, Md Rumi, 2013. "Returns to residential energy efficiency and conservation measures: A field experiment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 551-561.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:59:y:2013:i:c:p:551-561
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.04.003
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