IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/gam/jsusta/v4y2012i7p1525-1560d18833.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Does Energy Efficiency Reduce Emissions and Peak Demand? A Case Study of 50 Years of Space Heating in Melbourne

Author

Listed:
  • Graham Palmer

    () (Paltech Corporation, 8 Kingston Park Court Knoxfield, Victoria 3180, Australia)

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between space heating energy efficiency and two related but distinct measures; greenhouse mitigation, and peak demand. The historic role of Melbourne’s space heating provides an opportunity to assess whether improvements in energy efficiency lead to sustained reductions in energy consumption or whether rebound factors “take back” efficiency gains in the long run. Despite significant and sustained improvements in appliance efficiency, and the thermal efficiency of new building fabrics, the per-capita heating energy consumption has remained remarkably stable over the past 50 years. Space heating efficiency is bound up with notions of comfort, sufficiency and lifestyle, and the short-run gains from efficiency become incorporated into a new set of norms. It is this evolution of cultural norms that reconciles the contradiction between the short-run gains from efficiency measures, with the efficiency rebound that becomes evident over the long-term. The related, but distinct peak demand measure can be influenced by efficiency measures, but energy efficiency measures will not alter the requirement for large-scale conventional energy to provide affordable and reliable winter heating.

Suggested Citation

  • Graham Palmer, 2012. "Does Energy Efficiency Reduce Emissions and Peak Demand? A Case Study of 50 Years of Space Heating in Melbourne," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(7), pages 1-36, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:4:y:2012:i:7:p:1525-1560:d:18833
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/4/7/1525/pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/4/7/1525/
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Trainer, Ted, 2010. "Can renewables etc. solve the greenhouse problem? The negative case," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 4107-4114, August.
    2. Steven Sorrell, 2010. "Energy, Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability: Five Propositions," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(6), pages 1-26, June.
    3. A. Greening, Lorna & Greene, David L. & Difiglio, Carmen, 2000. "Energy efficiency and consumption -- the rebound effect -- a survey," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 389-401, June.
    4. Schipper, Lee & Grubb, Michael, 2000. "On the rebound? Feedback between energy intensities and energy uses in IEA countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 367-388, June.
    5. J. Daniel Khazzoom, 1980. "Economic Implications of Mandated Efficiency in Standards for Household Appliances," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 21-40.
    6. Nicholson, Martin & Biegler, Tom & Brook, Barry W., 2011. "How carbon pricing changes the relative competitiveness of low-carbon baseload generating technologies," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 305-313.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:enepol:v:107:y:2017:i:c:p:248-257 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Hong, Sanghyun & Bradshaw, Corey J.A. & Brook, Barry W., 2014. "Nuclear power can reduce emissions and maintain a strong economy: Rating Australia’s optimal future electricity-generation mix by technologies and policies," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 712-725.
    3. Graham Palmer, 2017. "Energetic Implications of a Post-industrial Information Economy: The Case Study of Australia," Biophysical Economics and Resource Quality, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 1-9, June.
    4. Jing Lin & Boqiang Lin, 2016. "How Much CO 2 Emissions Can Be Reduced in China’s Heating Industry," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(7), pages 1-16, July.
    5. Corey J. A. Bradshaw & Barry W. Brook, 2016. "Implications of Australia's Population Policy for Future Greenhouse Gas Emissions Targets," Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 249-265, May.
    6. Hong, Sanghyun & Bradshaw, Corey J.A. & Brook, Barry W., 2015. "Global zero-carbon energy pathways using viable mixes of nuclear and renewables," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 451-459.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    energy efficiency; space heating; peak demand; greenhouse emissions;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • 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
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:4:y:2012:i:7:p:1525-1560:d:18833. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (XML Conversion Team). General contact details of provider: http://www.mdpi.com/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.