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Carbon emissions from the commercial building sector: The role of climate, quality, and incentives

Author

Listed:
  • Kahn, Matthew E.
  • Kok, Nils
  • Quigley, John M.

Abstract

Commercial buildings play a major role in determining U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, yet surprisingly little is known about the environmental performance of different buildings at a point in time or how the same buildings perform over time. By exploiting a unique panel of commercial buildings from a major electric utility, we study the association between a building's electricity consumption and the physical attributes of buildings, lease incentive terms, indicators of human capital, and climatic conditions. We find that buildings that are newer and of higher quality consume more electricity, contrasting evidence for the residential sector. However, using our panel data set, we document that newer buildings are most resilient when exposed to hotter weather. Those buildings that have a building manager on-site and whose tenants face a positive marginal cost for electricity also demonstrate a better environmental performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Kahn, Matthew E. & Kok, Nils & Quigley, John M., 2014. "Carbon emissions from the commercial building sector: The role of climate, quality, and incentives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 1-12.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:113:y:2014:i:c:p:1-12
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2014.03.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. My Recent Research Using Electric Utility Data
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2015-05-02 03:31:00
    2. California Energy Efficiency Exceptionalism?
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2017-01-31 10:38:00

    Citations

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

    1. Christian A. L. Hilber & Charles Palmer & Edward W. Pinchbeck, 2017. "The Energy Costs of Historic Preservation," SERC Discussion Papers 0217, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    2. Arik Levinson, 2016. "How Much Energy Do Building Energy Codes Save? Evidence from California Houses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(10), pages 2867-2894, October.
    3. J. Scott Holladay & Jacob LaRiviere, 2015. "The Impact of Cheap Natural Gas on Marginal Emissions from Electricity Generation and Implications for Energy," Working Papers 2015-07, University of Tennessee, Department of Economics.
    4. 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.
    5. Daniel C. Matisoff & Douglas S. Noonan & Mallory E. Flowers, 2016. "Policy Monitor—Green Buildings: Economics and Policies," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 10(2), pages 329-346.
    6. Li Li & Xuefei Hong & Dengli Tang & Ming Na, 2016. "GHG Emissions, Economic Growth and Urbanization: A Spatial Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(5), pages 1-16, May.
    7. repec:eee:jeeman:v:85:y:2017:i:c:p:205-227 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Jacobsen, Grant D., 2015. "Do energy prices influence investment in energy efficiency? Evidence from energy star appliances," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 94-106.
    9. Maya M. Papineau, 2015. "Setting the Standard: Commercial Electricity Consumption Responses to Energy Codes," Carleton Economic Papers 15-04, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
    10. Oskari Harjunen & Matti Liski, 2014. "Not so Myopic Consumers - Evidence on Capitalization of Energy Technologies in a Housing Market," CESifo Working Paper Series 4989, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Kahn, Matthew E. & Walsh, Randall, 2015. "Cities and the Environment," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    12. Matthew E. Kahn & Nils Kok & Peng Liu, 2016. "Is California More Energy Efficient than the Rest of the Nation? Evidence from Commercial Real Estate," NBER Working Papers 21912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Katrina Jessoe & Maya M. Papineau & David Rapson, 2017. "Utilities Included: Split Incentives in Commercial Electricity Contracts," Carleton Economic Papers 17-07, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
    14. Fiona Burlig & Christopher Knittel & David Rapson & Mar Reguant & Catherine Wolfram, 2017. "Machine Learning from Schools about Energy Efficiency," NBER Working Papers 23908, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Gliedt, Travis & Hoicka, Christina E., 2015. "Energy upgrades as financial or strategic investment? Energy Star property owners and managers improving building energy performance," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 430-443.
    16. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:5:p:462:d:69739 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Louis-Gaëtan Giraudet, 2018. "Energy efficiency as a credence good: A review of informational barriers to building energy savings," Policy Papers 2018.04, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
    18. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:11:p:2119-:d:119321 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Fuerst, Franz & Gabrieli, Tommaso & McAllister, Patrick, 2017. "A green winner's curse? Investor behavior in the market for eco-certified office buildings," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 137-146.
    20. Arik Levinson, 2014. "How Much Energy Do Building Energy Codes Really Save? Evidence from California," NBER Working Papers 20797, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Energy efficiency; Durable capital; Technology; Human capital; Carbon mitigation;

    JEL classification:

    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • R33 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Nonagricultural and Nonresidential Real Estate Markets

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