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Estimating broad-brush rebound effects for household energy consumption in the EU 28 countries and Norway: some policy implications of Odyssee data


  • Galvin, Ray


Currently there is a strong policy commitment in European Union (EU) and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries to increase the energy efficiency of residential buildings, and it is widely assumed that this will naturally and automatically reduce domestic energy consumption. However, other factors such as fuel prices, wages, attitudes and lifestyles also influence energy consumption. This paper calculates broad-brush rebound effects based on changes in energy efficiency and energy consumption in each of the 28EU countries plus Norway, for the years 2000–2011. In doing so, it tests how well the assumption of energy efficiency leading to energy reduction stands up to scrutiny in these lands. It uses the EU’s Odyssee database for efficiency and consumption figures and a commonly employed econometric definition of the rebound effect as an energy-efficiency elasticity. Most older EU lands show rebound effects in the expected range of 0–50%. However, the range for newer EU countries is 100–550%, suggesting that energy efficiency increases are not a good predictor of energy consumption. A more in-depth look at one country, Germany, suggests these results underestimate the rebound effect significantly. This also identifies research needs for specific energy consumption determinants in each country, to find more precisely what is driving consumption levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Galvin, Ray, 2014. "Estimating broad-brush rebound effects for household energy consumption in the EU 28 countries and Norway: some policy implications of Odyssee data," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 323-332.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:73:y:2014:i:c:p:323-332
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2014.02.033

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Stephan B. Bruns & Alessio Moneta & David I. Stern, 2019. "Estimating the Economy-Wide Rebound Effect Using Empirically Identified Structural Vector Autoregressions," LEM Papers Series 2019/27, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    2. Assoumou, Edi & Marmorat, Jean-Paul & Roy, Valérie, 2015. "Investigating long-term energy and CO2 mitigation options at city scale: A technical analysis for the city of Bologna," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 92(P3), pages 592-611.
    3. Copiello, Sergio, 2017. "Building energy efficiency: A research branch made of paradoxes," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 1064-1076.
    4. Galvin, Ray, 2017. "How does speed affect the rebound effect in car travel? Conceptual issues explored in case study of 900 Formula 1 Grand Prix speed trials," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 28-38.
    5. Copiello, Sergio & Gabrielli, Laura & Bonifaci, Pietro, 2017. "Evaluation of energy retrofit in buildings under conditions of uncertainty: The prominence of the discount rate," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 104-117.
    6. Seebauer, Sebastian, 2017. "Individual Drivers for Direct and Indirect Rebound Effects: A Survey Study of Electric Vehicles and Building Insulation in Austria," FCN Working Papers 17/2017, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
    7. Wang, Zhaohua & Han, Bai & Lu, Milin, 2016. "Measurement of energy rebound effect in households: Evidence from residential electricity consumption in Beijing, China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 852-861.
    8. Olsthoorn, Mark & Schleich, Joachim & Faure, Corinne, 2019. "Exploring the diffusion of low-energy houses: An empirical study in the European Union," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 1382-1393.
    9. Galvin, Ray & Sunikka-Blank, Minna, 2016. "Quantification of (p)rebound effects in retrofit policies – Why does it matter?," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 415-424.
    10. Galvin, Ray, 2015. "The rebound effect, gender and social justice: A case study in Germany," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 759-769.
    11. Copiello, Sergio & Grillenzoni, Carlo, 2017. "Is the cold the only reason why we heat our homes? Empirical evidence from spatial series data," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 193(C), pages 491-506.
    12. Pablo-Romero, María del P. & Sánchez-Braza, Antonio, 2017. "Residential energy environmental Kuznets curve in the EU-28," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 44-54.
    13. Sofia Tsemekidi Tzeiranaki & Paolo Bertoldi & Francesca Diluiso & Luca Castellazzi & Marina Economidou & Nicola Labanca & Tiago Ribeiro Serrenho & Paolo Zangheri, 2019. "Analysis of the EU Residential Energy Consumption: Trends and Determinants," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(6), pages 1-27, March.
    14. Yao, Xi-Long & Liu, Yang & Yan, Xiao, 2014. "A quantile approach to assess the effectiveness of the subsidy policy for energy-efficient home appliances: Evidence from Rizhao, China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 512-518.
    15. Ruzzenenti, Franco & Basosi, Riccardo, 2017. "Modelling the rebound effect with network theory: An insight into the European freight transport sector," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 272-283.
    16. Qingsong Wang & Ping Liu & Xueliang Yuan & Xingxing Cheng & Rujian Ma & Ruimin Mu & Jian Zuo, 2015. "Structural Evolution of Household Energy Consumption: A China Study," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(4), pages 1-14, April.
    17. Soares, N. & Bastos, J. & Pereira, L. Dias & Soares, A. & Amaral, A.R. & Asadi, E. & Rodrigues, E. & Lamas, F.B. & Monteiro, H. & Lopes, M.A.R. & Gaspar, A.R., 2017. "A review on current advances in the energy and environmental performance of buildings towards a more sustainable built environment," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 845-860.
    18. Galvin, Ray, 2016. "Rebound effects from speed and acceleration in electric and internal combustion engine cars: An empirical and conceptual investigation," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 207-216.
    19. Tao Lin & Junna Yan, 2017. "Investigating the sensitivity factors of household indirect CO2 emission from the production side," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 88(2), pages 721-740, September.
    20. Galvin, Ray, 2015. "The ICT/electronics question: Structural change and the rebound effect," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 23-31.
    21. Borozan, Djula, 2018. "Regional-level household energy consumption determinants: The european perspective," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 347-355.


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