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Economic Efficiency, Environmental Effectiveness and Political Feasibility of Energy Efficiency Rebates: The Case of the Spanish Energy Efficiency Renove Plan

Author

Listed:
  • Ibon Galarraga
  • Luis M. Abadie
  • Alberto Ansuategi

Abstract

Energy labels are used to promote the purchase of efficient appliances. Many countries in Europe use subsidies (namely energy efficiency rebates) to support these purchases as it is the case of Spain. A figure ranging from 50 to 105€ subsidy has been granted in the past for the acquisition of the most efficient appliances. This paper first analyses the impact of a 80€ subsidy on the dishwasher market and compares the results with a 40 € tax for non-labelled ones. The results take into account the effects that the policies generate in the market segment that is a close substitute, that is, cross effects. The paper shows that the subsidy is expensive for the Government, generates some welfare losses and it also generates a rebound effect as a consequence of the increase in the total number of appliances sold. The 40 € tax does not cost money to the Government, it generates a lower welfare loss and reduces the energy bill. However, the analysis is extended to go beyond the two extreme scenarios: subsidies without taxes and taxes without subsidies. Different combinations of both instruments are suggested and they are assessed based on their performance regarding economic efficiency, environmental effectiveness and political feasibility.

Suggested Citation

  • Ibon Galarraga & Luis M. Abadie & Alberto Ansuategi, 2013. "Economic Efficiency, Environmental Effectiveness and Political Feasibility of Energy Efficiency Rebates: The Case of the Spanish Energy Efficiency Renove Plan," Working Papers 2013-05, BC3.
  • Handle: RePEc:bcc:wpaper:2013-05
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stavins, Robert N., 2003. "Experience with market-based environmental policy instruments," Handbook of Environmental Economics,in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 355-435 Elsevier.
    2. Ibon Galarraga & Anil Markandya, 2003. "The analysis of welfare effects of an environmental product tax: an application to the taxation of car tyres in Hungary," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 24(1), pages 97-114, March.
    3. Geller, Howard & Harrington, Philip & Rosenfeld, Arthur H. & Tanishima, Satoshi & Unander, Fridtjof, 2006. "Polices for increasing energy efficiency: Thirty years of experience in OECD countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 556-573, March.
    4. Hunt Allcott & Michael Greenstone, 2012. "Is There an Energy Efficiency Gap?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 3-28, Winter.
    5. Sorrell, Steve & Dimitropoulos, John & Sommerville, Matt, 2009. "Empirical estimates of the direct rebound effect: A review," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1356-1371, April.
    6. 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.
    7. Newell, Richard G. & Pizer, William A., 2003. "Regulating stock externalities under uncertainty," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2, Supple), pages 416-432, March.
    8. William D. Nordhaus, 2006. "After Kyoto: Alternative Mechanisms to Control Global Warming," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 31-34, May.
    9. Alberto Ansuategi & Ibon Galarraga, 2009. "Carbon Pricing as an Effective Instrument of Climate Policy: Searching for an Optimal Policy Instrument," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 99(3), pages 147-169, JULY-SEPT.
    10. Diamond, P. A. & McFadden, D. L., 1974. "Some uses of the expenditure function in public finance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 3-21, February.
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    Keywords

    Energy efficiency rebates; deadweight losses; rebound effect;

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