Time-Saving Innovations, Time Allocation, and Energy Use: Evidence from Canadian Households
Time and energy are major inputs into the production of household goods and services. The introduction of time-saving innovations allows households to change their activity patterns and to reallocate their time across competing activities. As a result, the market penetration of time-saving technologies for general household use is expected to have a two-fold impact on energy use in the residential sector. Firstly, increased use of time-saving technologies for basic household chores (cooking, cleaning) can lead to a direct impact on energy use, as many time-saving technologies are more energy-intensive than technologies that require larger time commitments. Secondly, increased use of time-saving technologies allows household members to increase the amount of the activity that is undertaken (for example, when cooking requires less time, more meals may be prepared at home) or to spend more time undertaking other household chores or leisure activities (watching TV, reading, exercising) which may or may not be energy-intensive. In this paper, we use Canadian Survey of Household Energy Use data from 2003 to estimate the extent to which ownership of products that embody time-saving innovations impacts time allocation and energy use at the household level.
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