IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/24211.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Distributional Effects of Building Energy Codes

Author

Listed:
  • Christopher D. Bruegge
  • Tatyana Deryugina
  • Erica Myers

Abstract

State-level building energy codes have been around for over 40 years, but recent empirical research has cast doubt on their effectiveness. A potential virtue of standards-based policies is that they may be less regressive than explicit taxes on energy consumption. However, this conjecture has not been tested empirically in the case of building energy codes. Using spatial variation in California’s code strictness created by building climate zones, combined with information on over 350,000 homes located within 3 kilometers of climate zone borders, we evaluate the effect of building energy codes on home characteristics, energy use, and home value. We also study building energy codes’ distributional burdens. Our key findings are that stricter codes create a non-trivial reduction in homes’ square footage and the number of bedrooms at the lower end of the income distribution. On a per-dwelling basis, we observe energy use reductions only in the second lowest income quintile, and energy use per square foot actually increases in the bottom quintile. Home values of lower-income households fall, while those of high-income households rise. We interpret these results as evidence that building energy codes result in more distortions for lower-income households and that decreases in square footage are responsible for much of the code-induced energy savings.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher D. Bruegge & Tatyana Deryugina & Erica Myers, 2018. "The Distributional Effects of Building Energy Codes," NBER Working Papers 24211, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24211
    Note: EEE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w24211.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Don Fullerton & Erich Muehlegger, 2019. "Who Bears the Economic Burdens of Environmental Regulations?," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 13(1), pages 62-82.
    2. Edenhofer, Ottmar & Flachsland, Christian & Kalkuhl, Matthias & Knopf, Brigitte & Pahle, Michael, 2019. "Optionen für eine CO2-Preisreform," Working Papers 04/2019, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung.
    3. Metcalf, Gilbert E., 2019. "The distributional impacts of U.S. energy policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 926-929.
    4. Don Fullerton & Erich Muehlegger, 2017. "Who Bears the Economic Costs of Environmental Regulations?," CESifo Working Paper Series 6596, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Becka Brolinson, 2019. "Does Increasing Block Pricing Decrease Energy Use? Evidence from the Residential Electricity Market," Working Papers gueconwpa~19-19-06, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24211. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.