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Cash for Coolers

Author

Listed:
  • Lucas W. Davis
  • Alan Fuchs
  • Paul J. Gertler

Abstract

This paper examines a large-scale appliance replacement program in Mexico that since 2009 has helped 1.5 million households replace their old refrigerators and air-conditioners with energy-efficient models. Using household-level electric billing records from the population of Mexican residential customers we find that refrigerator replacement reduces electricity consumption by an average of 11 kilowatt hours per month, about a 7% decrease. We find that air conditioning replacement, in contrast, increases electricity consumption by an average of 6 kilowatt hours per month, with larger increases during the summer. To put these results in context we present a simple conceptual framework in which energy-efficient durable goods cost less to operate, so households use them more. This behavioral response, sometimes called the "rebound" effect, is important for air-conditioners, but not important for refrigerators.

Suggested Citation

  • Lucas W. Davis & Alan Fuchs & Paul J. Gertler, 2012. "Cash for Coolers," NBER Working Papers 18044, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18044
    Note: EEE
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Catherine Wolfram & Orie Shelef & Paul Gertler, 2012. "How Will Energy Demand Develop in the Developing World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 119-138, Winter.
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    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.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Air conditioners on the rebound
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-05-23 19:54:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Yueming Qiu, 2014. "Energy Efficiency and Rebound Effects: An Econometric Analysis of Energy Demand in the Commercial Building Sector," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 59(2), pages 295-335, October.
    2. Thomas, Brinda A. & Azevedo, Inês L., 2013. "Estimating direct and indirect rebound effects for U.S. households with input–output analysis Part 1: Theoretical framework," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 199-210.
    3. Wasi, Nada & Carson, Richard T., 2013. "The influence of rebate programs on the demand for water heaters: The case of New South Wales," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 645-656.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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