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How do lenders price energy efficiency? Evidence from posted interest rates for unsecured credit in France
[Comment les créditeurs valorisent-ils l'efficacité énergétique? Une analyse des taux d'intérêt offerts pour le crédit à la consommation en France]

Author

Listed:
  • Louis-Gaëtan Giraudet

    () (CIRED - Centre international de recherche sur l'environnement et le développement - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - AgroParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech)

  • Anna Petronevich

    (Banque de France - Banque de France - Banque de France)

  • Laurent Faucheux

    (CIRED - Centre international de recherche sur l'environnement et le développement - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - AgroParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

Basic principles of loan pricing predict that the interest rate charged for energy efficiency investment is lower than for conventional investment. We test this hypothesis using a unique dataset of posted interest rates retrieved on a weekly basis from the websites of 15 lending institutions covering the near totality of the French market for unsecured credit. Crucially, our data are immune from sorting bias based on borrower characteristics. We find that the interest rate spread between conventional and energy efficiency investment was negative in 2015 and turned positive in 2016. A similar switch occurred to the spread between home renovation investment and vehicle investment. These results together imply that loans for home energy renovation were consistently charged relatively high interest rates. This can be interpreted as a new barrier to energy efficiency, with adverse consequences for scaling up home energy renovation. One possible explanation is that lenders use project characteristics as a screening device of unobservable borrower characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • Louis-Gaëtan Giraudet & Anna Petronevich & Laurent Faucheux, 2018. "How do lenders price energy efficiency? Evidence from posted interest rates for unsecured credit in France [Comment les créditeurs valorisent-ils l'efficacité énergétique? Une analyse des taux d'in," Working Papers hal-01890636, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-01890636
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01890636
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Todd D. Gerarden & Richard G. Newell & Robert N. Stavins, 2017. "Assessing the Energy-Efficiency Gap," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1486-1525, December.
    2. Gilbert E. Metcalf & Kevin A. Hassett, 1999. "Measuring The Energy Savings From Home Improvement Investments: Evidence From Monthly Billing Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 516-528, August.
    3. 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.
    4. Joshua Graff Zivin and Kevin Novan, 2016. "Upgrading Efficiency and Behavior: Electricity Savings from Residential Weatherization Programs," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Keywords

    energy efficiency gap; unsecured loan; home energy retrofit;

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