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Economic instruments to improve UK home energy efficiency without negative social impacts

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  • Simon Dresner
  • Paul Ekins

Abstract

The research examined how to use economic instruments to reduce carbon emissions from the UK housing sector without causing negative impacts on the poorest households. Carbon taxes would worsen the problem of fuel poverty. Compensation mechanisms involving the tax and benefit system were examined, but found not to be entirely effective because of the enormous range in the existing energy efficiency of homes. Exemptions for low-income households were examined, but found impractical to target. It was concluded that the best way to use economic instruments was through a scheme involving energy audits and surcharges to council tax and stamp duty for homeowners who failed to make cost-effective energy efficiency improvements within a specified time, with grants and loans to assist low-income households. After the implementation of such a scheme for 10 years, it would be practical to introduce a targeted carbon tax.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Dresner & Paul Ekins, 2006. "Economic instruments to improve UK home energy efficiency without negative social impacts," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 27(1), pages 47-74, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:27:y:2006:i:1:p:47-74
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Wyatt, Peter, 2013. "A dwelling-level investigation into the physical and socio-economic drivers of domestic energy consumption in England," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 540-549.
    2. Schaffrin, André & Reibling, Nadine, 2015. "Household energy and climate mitigation policies: Investigating energy practices in the housing sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 1-10.
    3. Kelly, Scott, 2011. "Do homes that are more energy efficient consume less energy?: A structural equation model of the English residential sector," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 5610-5620.
    4. Alberto Gago & Xavier Labandeira & Xiral López Otero, 2014. "A Panorama on Energy Taxes and Green Tax Reforms," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 208(1), pages 145-190, March.
    5. Pashardes, Panos & Pashourtidou, Nicoletta & Zachariadis, Theodoros, 2014. "Estimating welfare aspects of changes in energy prices from preference heterogeneity," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 58-66.
    6. Benjamin Jones & Michael Keen & Jon Strand, 2013. "Fiscal implications of climate change," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(1), pages 29-70, February.
    7. Longhi, Simonetta, 2015. "Residential energy expenditures and the relevance of changes in household circumstances," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 440-450.
    8. Alberto M. Zanni & Abigail L. Bristow & Mark Wardman, 2013. "The potential behavioural effect of personal carbon trading: results from an experimental survey," Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(2), pages 222-243, July.
    9. Heindl, Peter & Löschel, Andreas, 2015. "Social implications of green growth policies from the perspective of energy sector reform and its impact on households," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-012, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    10. Büchs, Milena & Schnepf, Sylke V., 2013. "Who emits most? Associations between socio-economic factors and UK households' home energy, transport, indirect and total CO2 emissions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 114-123.
    11. Burgess, Martin, 2016. "Personal carbon allowances: A revised model to alleviate distributional issues," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 316-327.
    12. Buchs, Milena & Schnepf, Sylke V., 2013. "UK Households' Carbon Footprint: A Comparison of the Association between Household Characteristics and Emissions from Home Energy, Transport and Other Goods and Services," IZA Discussion Papers 7204, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Camprubí, Lluís & Malmusi, Davide & Mehdipanah, Roshanak & Palència, Laia & Molnar, Agnes & Muntaner, Carles & Borrell, Carme, 2016. "Façade insulation retrofitting policy implementation process and its effects on health equity determinants: A realist review," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 304-314.
    14. Helena Meier & Katrin Rehdanz, 2008. "Determinants of Residential Space Heating Expenditures in Great Britain," Working Papers FNU-166, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Jul 2008.
    15. Meier, Helena & Rehdanz, Katrin, 2010. "Determinants of residential space heating expenditures in Great Britain," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 949-959, September.
    16. Saamah Abdallah & Ian Gough & Victoria Johnson & Josh Ryan-Collins & Cindy Smith, 2011. "The distribution of total greenhouse gas emissions by households in the UK, and some implications for social policy," CASE Papers case152, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    17. Don Fullerton & Andrew Leicester & Stephen Smith, 2008. "Environmental Taxes," NBER Working Papers 14197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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