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Energy rebound due to re-spending: a growing concern


  • Miklós Antal
  • Jeroen van den Bergh


Energy conservation is widely accepted as an important strategy to combat climate change. It can, nevertheless, stimulate new energy uses that partly offset the original savings. This is known as rebound. One particular rebound mechanism is re-spending of money savings associated with energy savings on energy intensive goods or services. We calculate the average magnitude of this “re-spending rebound” for different fuels and countries. We find that emerging economies, neglected in past studies, typically have substantially larger rebounds than OECD countries. The effect is generally stronger for gasoline than for natural gas and electricity. Paradoxically, strengthening financial incentives to conserve energy tends to increase rebound. This is expected to gain importance with climate regulation and peak oil. We discuss the policy implications of our findings.

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  • Miklós Antal & Jeroen van den Bergh, 2014. "Energy rebound due to re-spending: a growing concern," WWWforEurope Policy Paper series 9, WWWforEurope.
  • Handle: RePEc:feu:wfeppr:y:2014:m:2:d:0:i:9

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2008. "Public policies against global warming: a supply side approach," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(4), pages 360-394, August.
    2. Jeroen Bergh, 2011. "Energy Conservation More Effective With Rebound Policy," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 48(1), pages 43-58, January.
    3. 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.
    4. Sorrell, Steve, 2009. "Jevons' Paradox revisited: The evidence for backfire from improved energy efficiency," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1456-1469, April.
    5. Webster, Mort & Paltsev, Sergey & Reilly, John, 2008. "Autonomous efficiency improvement or income elasticity of energy demand: Does it matter?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 2785-2798, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:feu:wfedel:y:2016:m:2:d:0:i:11 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Georg Licht & Bettina Peters & Christian Köhler & Franz Schwiebacher, 2014. "The Potential Contribution of Innovation Systems to Socio-Ecological Transition," WWWforEurope Deliverables series 4, WWWforEurope.

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    Rebound effect; re-spending; emerging economies;

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