Smart meters help consumers avoid wasting money on energy efficiency

Analysis of a randomised-controlled trial on a sample of almost 2500 Irish households revealed one surprising result: compared to the control group, households provided with a smart meter, detailed feedback on usage, and time-of-use pricing reduced investment in energy efficiency projects. While this unexpected development appears treated by the researchers as an embarrassment to be overcome, the result should … More Smart meters help consumers avoid wasting money on energy efficiency

Widespread access to thermal imagery will boost home energy efficiency

When the cameras built in to everyday phones have smart thermal imaging capability, then – finally – the dreams of energy efficiency experts will come true. Consumers will have easy access to pictures showing hot spots and cold spots around windows and doors and on walls and ceilings. People will spend more to replace windows and … More Widespread access to thermal imagery will boost home energy efficiency

The federal government wants to help trucking companies save money

The EPA and the U.S. Department of Transportation think trucking companies in the United States are not smart enough to understand that fuel expenses are worth managing carefully. Despite industry analysis identifying fuel costs ranging from 30 to 40 percent of variable costs per mile, so it is no secret in the trucking business, the federal … More The federal government wants to help trucking companies save money

Gayer & Viscusi: Energy efficiency regulations, the environment, and consumer sovereignty

Lynne Kiesling Ted Gayer of the Brookings Institution and Kip Viscusi of Vanderbilt University have a new Mercatus working paper that is a careful and thoughtful critique of the rationale, the methodology, and the outcomes of federal energy efficiency regulations. Using standard Pigouvian externality theory, most environmental regulations are based on the “market failure” rationale … More Gayer & Viscusi: Energy efficiency regulations, the environment, and consumer sovereignty

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

Federal government is trying to fix your car-buying mistakes

Michael Giberson One of the federal government’s first oil conservation ideas, initiated during the Ford presidency, was Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulation. Mostly the goal was to reduce U.S. consumption of oil as a way to reduce oil imports, though ancillary environmental benefits were also anticipated. Regulatory analysis of CAFE regulations over the near … More Federal government is trying to fix your car-buying mistakes

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

Sure, Congress can regulate light bulbs that travel in interstate commerce, but a “made in Texas, stayed in Texas” bulb…?

Michael Giberson The Texas state legislature has passed a bill that affirms that a light bulb manufactured in Texas of materials predominantly from within Texas and sold for use within Texas would not be subject to federal law or regulation under the authority of the U.S. Congress to regulate interstate commerce. The bill further would commit the state Attorney … More Sure, Congress can regulate light bulbs that travel in interstate commerce, but a “made in Texas, stayed in Texas” bulb…?