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Longer-Run Evidence on Whether Building Energy Codes Reduce Residential Energy Consumption

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  • Matthew J. Kotchen

Abstract

This paper provides an ex post evaluation of how changes to a building energy code affect energy consumption. Using residential billing data for electricity and natural gas over 11 years, the analysis is based on comparisons between residences constructed just before and just after a building code change in Florida. While an earlier study using 3 years of data for the same residences showed savings for both electricity and natural gas, new results show an enduring savings for natural gas only. These findings underscore the importance of accounting for all sources of energy consumption when conducting evaluations of building codes. More broadly, the results provide a counterpoint to the growing literature casting doubt on whether ex ante forecasts of energy efficiency policies and investments can provide useful information about actual energy savings. Indeed, more than a decade after Florida's energy code change, the measured energy savings still meets or exceeds the forecasted amount.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew J. Kotchen, 2017. "Longer-Run Evidence on Whether Building Energy Codes Reduce Residential Energy Consumption," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(1), pages 135-153.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jaerec:doi:10.1086/689703
    DOI: 10.1086/689703
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    Cited by:

    1. Davis, Lucas W. & Martinez, Sebastian & Taboada, Bibiana, 2020. "How effective is energy-efficient housing? Evidence from a field trial in Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    2. Lucas W. Davis & Sebastian Martinez & Bibiana Taboada, 2018. "How Effective is Energy-Efficient Housing? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Mexico," NBER Working Papers 24581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Maya Papineau & Kareman Yassin & Guy Newsham & Sarah Brice, 2020. "Conditional demand analysis as a tool to evaluate energy policy options on the path to grid decarbonization," Carleton Economic Papers 20-21, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
    4. Lloyd-Smith, Patrick & Adamowicz, Wiktor & Entem, Alicia & Fenichel, Eli P. & Rouhi Rad, Mani, 2021. "The decade after tomorrow: Estimation of discount rates from realistic temporal decisions over long time horizons," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 158-174.

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