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Are Energy Efficiency Standards Justified?

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  • Parry, Ian W.H.

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Evans, David A.
  • Oates, Wallace E.

Abstract

This paper develops and parameterizes an overarching analytical framework to estimate the welfare effects of energy efficiency standards applied to automobiles and electricity-using durables. We also compare standards with sectoral and economywide pricing policies. The model captures a wide range of externalities and preexisting energy policies, and it allows for possible “misperceptions”—market failures that cause underinvestment in energy efficiency.Automobile fuel economy standards are not part of the first-best policy to reduce gasoline: fuel taxes are always superior because they reduce the externalities related to vehicle miles traveled. For the power sector, potential welfare gains from supplementing pricing instruments with efficiency standards are small at best. If pricing instruments are not feasible, a large misperceptions failure is required to justify efficiency standards, and even in this case the optimal reductions in fuel and electricity use are relatively modest. Reducing economywide carbon dioxide emissions through regulatory packages (combining efficiency and emissions standards) involves much higher costs than pricing instruments.

Suggested Citation

  • Parry, Ian W.H. & Evans, David A. & Oates, Wallace E., 2010. "Are Energy Efficiency Standards Justified?," Discussion Papers dp-10-59, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-10-59
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    Cited by:

    1. Maya M. Papineau, 2015. "Setting the Standard: Commercial Electricity Consumption Responses to Energy Codes," Carleton Economic Papers 15-04, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
    2. Arlan Brucal & Michael Roberts, 2015. "Can Energy Efficiency Standards Reduce Prices and Improve Quality? Evidence from the US Clothes Washer Market," Working Papers 201506, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    3. Tsvetan Tsvetanov & Kathleen Segerson, 2011. "Re-Evaluating the Role of Energy Efficiency Standards: A Time-Consistent Behavioral Economics Approach," Working papers 2011-24, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    4. Altvater, Susanne & de Block, Debora & Bouwma, Irene & Dworak, Thomas & Frelih-Larsen, Ana & Görlach, Benjamin & Hermeling, Claudia & Klostermann, Judith & König, Martin & Leitner, Markus & Marinova, , 2012. "Adaptation measures in the EU: Policies, costs, and economic assessment. "Climate Proofing" of key EU policies," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research, number 110558.
    5. repec:kap:iecepo:v:15:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10368-016-0370-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Kenneth Gillingham & Karen Palmer, 2014. "Bridging the Energy Efficiency Gap: Policy Insights from Economic Theory and Empirical Evidence," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 8(1), pages 18-38, January.
    7. Parry, Ian W.H. & Timilsina, Govinda R., 2012. "Demand side instruments to reduce road transportation externalities in the greater Cairo metropolitan area," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6083, The World Bank.
    8. repec:eee:eneeco:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:63-76 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Tsvetan Tsvetanov & Kathleen Segerson, 2011. "Re-Evaluating the Role of Energy Efficiency Standards: A Time-Consistent Behavioral Economics Approach," Working Papers 07, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
    10. Parry, Ian W.H., 2012. "Reforming the tax system to promote environmental objectives: An application to Mauritius," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 103-112.
    11. Allcott, Hunt & Mullainathan, Sendhil & Taubinsky, Dmitry, 2014. "Energy policy with externalities and internalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 72-88.
    12. Klier, Thomas & Linn, Joshua, 2011. "Fuel Prices and New Vehicle Fuel Economy in Europe," Discussion Papers dp-11-37, Resources For the Future.
    13. Michelsen, Claus & El-Shagi, Makram & Rosenschon, Sebastian, 2016. "The diffusion of "green'' buildings in the housing market: empirics on the long run effects of energy efficiency regulation," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145534, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. Brigitte Knopf & Nicolas Koch & Godefroy Grosjean & Sabine Fuss & Christian Flachsland & Michael Pahle & Michael Jakob & Ottmar Edenhofer, 2014. "The European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS): Ex-Post Analysis, the Market Stability Reserve and Options for a Comprehensive Reform," Working Papers 2014.79, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    15. Rozenberg, Julie & Vogt-Schilb, Adrien & Hallegatte, Stephane, 2014. "Transition to clean capital, irreversible investment and stranded assets," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6859, The World Bank.
    16. 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.
    17. Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen L., 2013. "Mixing It Up: Power Sector Energy and Regional and Regulatory Climate Policies in the Presence of a Carbon Tax," Discussion Papers dp-13-09, Resources For the Future.
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    19. Joisa Dutra, Flavio M. Menezes, and Xuemei Zheng, 2016. "Price Regulation and the Incentives to Pursue Energy Efficiency by Minimizing Network Losses," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4).
    20. Hunt Allcott, 2014. "Paternalism and Energy Efficiency: An Overview," NBER Working Papers 20363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Ian W.H. Parry & John Norregaard & Dirk Heine, 2012. "Environmental Tax Reform; Principles from Theory and Practice to Date," IMF Working Papers 12/180, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    standards; energy taxes; market failure; climate; power sector; gasoline;

    JEL classification:

    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy

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