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Are energy efficiency standards justified?

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  • Parry, Ian W.H.
  • Evans, David
  • Oates, Wallace E.

Abstract

This paper develops an analytical framework for comparing the welfare effects of energy efficiency standards and pricing policies for reducing gasoline, electricity, and nationwide carbon emissions. The model is parameterized with US data and includes key externalities in the energy/transportation sectors and possible underinvestment in energy efficiency due to “misperceptions” over energy savings. Even with large misperceptions, the extra welfare gains from complementing efficient pricing policies with energy efficiency standards are zero for reducing gasoline and 5 percent for reducing electricity. And when viewed as substitutes, these standards forgo 60 percent or more of the potential welfare gains from corresponding pricing policies. A combination of energy efficiency and emissions standards is more than three times as costly as carbon pricing when there is no misperception over energy savings, and even with large misperceptions, combining carbon pricing with gasoline/electricity taxes is better than combining it with energy efficiency standards.

Suggested Citation

  • Parry, Ian W.H. & Evans, David & Oates, Wallace E., 2014. "Are energy efficiency standards justified?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 104-125.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:67:y:2014:i:2:p:104-125
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2013.11.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. "Hi, I'm President Obama and I'm here in Alaska to help fix the climate."
      by Ronald Bailey in Hit & Run blog on 2015-09-04 22:30:00

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Maya M. Papineau, 2015. "Setting the Standard: Commercial Electricity Consumption Responses to Energy Codes," Carleton Economic Papers 15-04, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
    2. Parry, Ian W.H., 2012. "Reforming the tax system to promote environmental objectives: An application to Mauritius," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 103-112.
    3. Arlan Brucal & Michael Roberts, 2015. "Can Energy Efficiency Standards Reduce Prices and Improve Quality? Evidence from the US Clothes Washer Market," Working Papers 201506, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    4. Brigitte Knopf & Nicolas Koch & Godefroy Grosjean & Sabine Fuss & Christian Flachsland & Michael Pahle & Michael Jakob & Ottmar Edenhofer, 2014. "The European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS): Ex-Post Analysis, the Market Stability Reserve and Options for a Comprehensive Reform," Working Papers 2014.79, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    5. Rozenberg, Julie & Vogt-Schilb, Adrien & Hallegatte, Stephane, 2014. "Transition to clean capital, irreversible investment and stranded assets," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6859, The World Bank.
    6. Tsvetan Tsvetanov & Kathleen Segerson, 2011. "Re-Evaluating the Role of Energy Efficiency Standards: A Time-Consistent Behavioral Economics Approach," Working papers 2011-24, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    7. 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.
    8. Thomas Klier & Joshua Linn, 2011. "Fuel Prices and New Vehicle Fuel Economy in Europe," Working Papers 1117, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
    9. Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen L., 2013. "Mixing It Up: Power Sector Energy and Regional and Regulatory Climate Policies in the Presence of a Carbon Tax," Discussion Papers dp-13-09, Resources For the Future.
    10. Altvater, Susanne & de Block, Debora & Bouwma, Irene & Dworak, Thomas & Frelih-Larsen, Ana & Görlach, Benjamin & Hermeling, Claudia & Klostermann, Judith & König, Martin & Leitner, Markus & Marinova, , 2012. "Adaptation measures in the EU: Policies, costs, and economic assessment. "Climate Proofing" of key EU policies," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research, number 110558, June.
    11. repec:kap:iecepo:v:15:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10368-016-0370-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Daziano, Ricardo A., 2015. "Inference on mode preferences, vehicle purchases, and the energy paradox using a Bayesian structural choice model," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 1-26.
    13. 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.
    14. Parry, Ian W.H. & Timilsina, Govinda R., 2012. "Demand side instruments to reduce road transportation externalities in the greater Cairo metropolitan area," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6083, The World Bank.
    15. repec:eee:eneeco:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:63-76 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Joisa Dutra, Flavio M. Menezes, and Xuemei Zheng, 2016. "Price Regulation and the Incentives to Pursue Energy Efficiency by Minimizing Network Losses," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4).
    17. Tsvetan Tsvetanov & Kathleen Segerson, 2011. "Re-Evaluating the Role of Energy Efficiency Standards: A Time-Consistent Behavioral Economics Approach," Working Papers 07, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
    18. Allcott, Hunt & Mullainathan, Sendhil & Taubinsky, Dmitry, 2014. "Energy policy with externalities and internalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 72-88.
    19. Hunt Allcott, 2014. "Paternalism and Energy Efficiency: An Overview," NBER Working Papers 20363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Michelsen, Claus & El-Shagi, Makram & Rosenschon, Sebastian, 2016. "The diffusion of "green'' buildings in the housing market: empirics on the long run effects of energy efficiency regulation," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145534, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    21. Ian W.H. Parry & John Norregaard & Dirk Heine, 2012. "Environmental Tax Reform; Principles from Theory and Practice to Date," IMF Working Papers 12/180, International Monetary Fund.
    22. Wangsness, Paal Brevik, 2018. "How to road price in a world with electric vehicles and government budget constraints," Working Paper Series 10-2017, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, School of Economics and Business.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Efficiency standards; Energy taxes; Market failure; Climate; Power sector; Gasoline;

    JEL classification:

    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy

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