The rebound effect: the ACEEE strikes back

Michael Giberson The significance of the “rebound effect”  remains a matter of some debate. (The rebound effect is the frequently observed tendency for energy efficiency improvements to increase consumer use of the now more efficient good or service). Recently the Institute for Energy Research published Robert Michaels’s survey of rebound effects. In the study, Michaels concluded: Properly … More The rebound effect: the ACEEE strikes back

Coasean taxes and other energy economics stories

Michael Giberson Of note. Daniel Cole, “Thinking About an Optimal Coase Tax” “Economists have spilled a lot of ink trying to specify what an ‘optimal’ Pigou tax would be… Haven’t any of these people read Coase (I mean read him carefully)? One of his explicit aims in ‘The Problem of Social Cost’ (1960) was to correct an … More Coasean taxes and other energy economics stories

More on rebound, backlash, and the Jevons effect

Lynne Kiesling Back in July and also a couple of other times over the past two years, Mike has written here about the Jevons effect — when an increase in energy efficiency reduces the per-unit cost to the consumer of doing the energy-consuming action, moving her down along her energy demand curve and increasing her … More More on rebound, backlash, and the Jevons effect

Jevons Paradox: More on current controversies

Michael Giberson In the comments on yesterday’s post on the Jevons Paradox, Rick Lightburn notes an article on the rebound effect by the Rocky Mountain Institute, “The ‘Rebound Effect’: A Perennial Controversy Rises Again” (and see a follow up on the RMI blog). The RMI article links to and responds to, among other things, a comprehensive … More Jevons Paradox: More on current controversies

Efficiency, conservation, and the inescapable Jevons Paradox

Michael Giberson Given the preponderance of government energy policies aimed at promoting technical efficiency, a careful consideration of the Jevons Paradox is in order. I’ve spent some time this summer reading about William Stanley Jevons, one of the three 19th-century economists co-credited with sparking the marginal revolution, and especially Jevon’s book The Coal Question. Most recently I’ve … More Efficiency, conservation, and the inescapable Jevons Paradox

From rebound to backfire: Tierney column examines limits to use of energy efficiency policy to pursue energy conservation

Michael Giberson John Tierney’s column, “When Energy Efficiency Sullies the Environment,” in the New York Times examines the rebound effect and some of the broader consequences of trying to promote conservation through policies inducing energy efficiency. Some of the biggest rebound effects occur when new economic activity results from energy-efficient technologies that reduce the cost … More From rebound to backfire: Tierney column examines limits to use of energy efficiency policy to pursue energy conservation

The Economist: Making lighting more efficient could increase energy use

Michael Giberson The current issue of The Economist reports on research that concluded “making lighting more efficient could increase energy use, not decrease it.” SOLID-STATE lighting, the latest idea to brighten up the world while saving the planet, promises illumination for a fraction of the energy used by incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. A win all … More The Economist: Making lighting more efficient could increase energy use