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Why don't households see the light?: Explaining the diffusion of compact fluorescent lamps


  • Mills, Bradford F.
  • Schleich, Joachim


Starting in 2009 the EU ban on the sale of incandescent bulbs will force households to purchase energy-saving compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). The impact of the ban on consumers will depend on the nature of current barriers to the use of CFLs. This paper employs a Double-Hurdle model to identify distinct barriers to household consideration of CFLs and to the subsequent intensity of adoption using a large survey of German households. Barriers to CFL consideration are found to be low for all households, except those with very low incomes. Barriers to CFL consideration are, however, strongly linked to the residential characteristics of low-income households like small size and to the lack of household knowledge of energy consumption. CFLs use will increase after the ban mainly through a rise in the intensity of adoption. But the ban will be costly to consumers because the range of applications where households chose to employ CFLs is limited, particularly for high income households.

Suggested Citation

  • Mills, Bradford F. & Schleich, Joachim, 2010. "Why don't households see the light?: Explaining the diffusion of compact fluorescent lamps," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-378, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:resene:v:32:y:2010:i:3:p:363-378

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Chun, Natalie & Jiang, Yi, 2013. "How households in Pakistan take on energy efficient lighting technology," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 277-284.
    2. Schleich, Joachim & Gassmann, Xavier & Faure, Corinne & Meissner, Thomas, 2016. "Making the implicit explicit: A look inside the implicit discount rate," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 321-331.
    3. repec:eee:rensus:v:80:y:2017:i:c:p:505-518 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Schleich, Joachim & Mills, Bradford & Dütschke, Elisabeth, 2014. "A brighter future? Quantifying the rebound effect in energy efficient lighting," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 35-42.
    5. Mills, Bradford & Schleich, Joachim, 2014. "Household transitions to energy efficient lighting," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 151-160.
    6. Christian Schubert & Andreas Chai, 2012. "Sustainable Consumption and Consumer Sovereignty," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2012-14, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    7. Mills, Bradford & Schleich, Joachim, 2010. "What's driving energy efficient appliance label awareness and purchase propensity?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 814-825, February.
    8. Mills, Bradford F. & Schleich, Joachim, 2009. "Profits or preferences? Assessing the adoption of residential solar thermal technologies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 4145-4154, October.
    9. Hlavinka, Alexander N. & Mjelde, James W. & Dharmasena, Senarath & Holland, Christine, 2016. "Forecasting the adoption of residential ductless heat pumps," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 60-67.
    10. De Groote, Olivier & Pepermans, Guido & Verboven, Frank, 2016. "Heterogeneity in the adoption of photovoltaic systems in Flanders," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 45-57.
    11. Mills, Bradford & Schleich, Joachim, 2012. "Residential energy-efficient technology adoption, energy conservation, knowledge, and attitudes: An analysis of European countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 616-628.
    12. repec:hal:gemwpa:hal-00991732 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Howard Kunreuther & Elke U. Weber, 2014. "Aiding Decision-Making to Reduce the Impacts of Climate Change," NBER Working Papers 19776, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.


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