Article

Household energy and climate mitigation policies: Investigating energy practices in the housing sector

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

One central aim of climate change mitigation in the European Union is to reduce energy consumption in the housing sector. In order to ensure effectiveness of policies targeting household energy conservation, it is important to investigate existing energy practices of different social groups. This article describes and explains energy practices in three leading states in environmental politics, technological innovation, and support for renewable energy production: Denmark, Austria, and the United Kingdom. Based on a longitudinal analysis of housing utility costs from the European Community Statistics on Income and Living Conditions we show that income plays a central role in households’ energy practices. While high-income households have higher overall energy consumption, low-income groups spend a larger share of their income on utility costs. The variation of energy consumption across income groups is related to household characteristics, characteristics of the dwellings, and cross-national differences in the housing sector.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Papada and Kaliampakos, 2016;Tirado and Jiménez Meneses, 2016). Schaffrin and Reibling (2015) were one of the first authors to employ SILC to analyze energy consumption practices at the household level in Denmark, Austria and the United Kingdom. Based on a longitudinal analysis of housing utility costs between survey years 2005 and 2008, they showed a number of socio-economic determinants relating to household energy consumption. ...
... Following a similar approach in previous studies (e.g. Baker et al., 1989;Rehdanz, 2007;Meier and Rehdanz, 2010;Schaffrin and Reibling, 2015), the current analysis includes three categories of variables: building characteristics, socio-economic factors, and regional indicators. Building characteristics include the dwellings period of construction, type of heating system, and fuel source for space heating, water heating and cooking. ...
... To the best of the author's knowledge, Schaffrin and Reibling (2015) is the only study that employed EU SILC data with a similar objective to that presented here. Although comprehensive, the results are limited in accuracy since energy costs were estimated from total housing costs minus utility costs. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper examines the determinants of residential energy expenditures in Austra. The aim is twofold: first, to identify the determinant factors of household energy expenditures, explore the regional differences therein, and further investigate differences in those factors between owner-and renter-occupied households; and second, to demonstrate the viability of microdata from the EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) to study energy-related policy issues in the residential sector. EU SILC microdata for Austria is presented as a case study, on which a conditional-demand mondel is regressed whereby annual energy expenditure per square meter is estimated as a function of occupancy type, housing characteristics, regional and socioeconomic variables. Results imply that a number of socioeconomic criteria have a significant influence on energy expenditure, independent of the fuel used for space heating, water heating, or cooking. Understanding the impact of different factors on energy expenditures and differences between types of household is necessary in designing target-oriented policy measures. Given the significance of the socioeconomic variables provided by the SILC micro-data, this paper also successfully demonstrates the viability of EU SILC as an instrument to drive energy-related policy, although not without some caveats.
... The high-energy costs in Europe are particularly due to the low refurbishment rate of buildings and the low rate of replacement of appliances [13] . Moreover, the share of income spent on energy costs is much higher for vulnerable individuals than for highincome ones [14] . Therefore, efficiency measures, like those that improve the insulation capacities of walls, might be effective at lowering energy bills [15] . ...
... As an example, providing information on how to save energy might promote better energy consumption behaviors and, thus, cost savings [26] . This is especially crucial for vulnerable consumers who, by saving more energy costs, will have more financial resources available for other necessary goods that they usually cannot afford [14] . Compared to other measures, information provision and education measures acknowledge that individual behavior is central to addressing the complex problem of energy poverty. ...
Article
Full-text available
Insufficient access to affordable, safe and reliable energy services deprives individuals of the essential means to live a good, satisfactory and just life. This problem is becoming more and more urgent in urban areas, in particular in low-income neighborhoods, in which the inability to meet energy costs reflects social segregation and distributional inequalities. Making cleaner technologies available for all homes and providing financial aid are strategies that would combat energy poverty. However, understanding people’s everyday decisions that affect their energy use is also crucial. A careful examination of the underlying mechanisms that drive decisions is required, above all in contexts characterized by conditions of scarcity. Living in a context of scarcity depletes people’s available cognitive resources, thus rendering their decisions more susceptible to cognitive biases. As an example, contexts of scarcity trigger a tendency to prefer immediate smaller rewards to delayed larger ones. However, studies demonstrate that this can be mitigated by allowing individuals to build community trust. This study taps into recent findings from behavioral sciences regarding the role that scarcity conditions have on decision-making, with the aim to i) review certain cognitive biases that might arise in energy poverty contexts, and ii) devise strategies to unlock individuals’ potential to make decisions that result in better outcomes for themselves and their surroundings.
... Income was negatively correlated with washing temperature (Table C1), but positively with frequency (Table C.3). Previous studies have found that high-income households have higher overall energy consumption and higher energy consumption related to washing and drying clothes (Kleinhückelkotten et al., 2016;Schaffrin and Reibling, 2015). However, previous studies have considered washing frequency but not temperature (Kleinhückelkotten et al., 2016). ...
... Income was negatively correlated with switching off devices when not in use (Table C.7), in line with previous findings that high-income households consume more energy (Schaffrin and Reibling, 2015). Households with children were 38 percentage points less likely to have multi-sockets installed (Table C.9). Children in the household were also negatively correlated with standby-related meanings (Table C.11) and automatic switching off gadgets (Table C. Average treatment effects of energy advice for the short and medium term and differences at baseline. ...
Article
Full-text available
Despite advances in understanding routines, there is little knowledge about which aspects of routinized behavior people adjust during interventions. In this study, we applied an adjusted social practice theory framework to disentangle routinized energy consumption, focusing on energy services related to washing, standby, and cooking. We investigate the potential of home energy advice to change elements of routinized behaviors, namely meanings, knowledge, and technologies. Using a randomized controlled field trial on a probabilistic sample of households, we found short-term treatment effects related to increased usage of lids during cooking and improved knowledge of IT-related energy consumption, as well as negative effects regarding multi-sockets and washing frequency. Our findings suggest that meanings (e.g., preferences underlying routinized behaviors) are less subject to change, and that sociodemographic variables are associated with routinized behaviors in complex ways. Our disentangling of energy demand into elements of routines enables us to show how home energy advice may change behaviors and knowledge. This study highlights the benefits of a multifaceted perspective for understanding household energy consumption and can be used to inform intervention and policy design.
... It is thus necessary to understand the relationship between income, expenditure, and emissions within the context of the economy, and to assess levels of inequality for each. The country exhibits tendencies that imply higher carbon emission footprints for high-income households, such as larger houses (Schaffrin & Reibling, 2015), smaller household sizes (Underwood & Zahran, 2015), and higher incidences of personal transport, but an accurate accounting has not been undertaken to date. ...
... It has become apparent that the posited causal relationship between improved environmental quality and income alone is highly unlikely (Rosa & Dietz, 2012), and is often better explained by concurrent good governance, effective regulations and improved technological inputs (Carson, 2009 (Arndt et al., 2013). Household carbon emissions are typically driven by total expenditure on wealth correlates such as smaller households (Underwood & Zahran, 2015), higher energy consumption and larger houses (Schaffrin & Reibling, 2015), and higher rates of car ownership and larger travel distances (Cox et al., 2012;Brand et al., 2013). It thus appears that whilst focussing on resource efficiency and low carbon development trajectories is of value, it is unlikely to be sufficient on its own to address the key problems (Ala-Mantila, Heinonen & Junnila, 2014). ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Equity is an essential issue for climate change mitigation, especially when considering the needs of a large global population in the developing world. The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR/RC) aims to ensure equitable sharing of the climate action burden for signatories given nations' differing historical and current circumstances, but equitable burden-sharing might also be achieved if implemented through policies at a national level. South Africa is highly unequal and effectively has two parallel economies, a developed one that primarily serves the wealthy, and a developing one in which the majority of the population lives (Mbeki, 2003). As such, it internally reflects the global tension between necessary climate action and essential developmental goals. This study evaluates fair intra-national household mitigation shares in South Africa considering the principle of CBDR/RC, and the policy implications of achieving equitable mitigation action. Emulating a study by Arndt et al (2013), an energy-integrated supply-use table (SUT) model is used to examine embodied emissions for aggregate products and industries in the South African economy for three time periods (2005, 2010 and 2015). Household emissions from direct and indirect fossil fuel consumption are assessed by integrating household consumption survey data through multiplier analysis. Household emissions reflect the same “two economies” disparity as income when measured by means of both Gini and Palma indices. A small decline in inequality is observed over the study period, but overall emissions and income inequality in 2015 remain high. Grouping households by mean per capita income and expenditure, household responsibility and capability are assessed as shares of total household emissions and income, respectively. Holz et al. (2017) propose a minimal developmental threshold of $7,500 PPP below which individuals should not bear any mitigation burden, and application of this threshold provides household threshold capability and a combined mitigation and responsibility household equity estimate. Simple equity measures indicate that the top household decile's fair share of all mitigation action is between 44% and 54%, whilst the share of the bottom four deciles is between 5% and 11%. When considering the development threshold, some three-quarters of households would have no burden at all. Finally, the combined equity estimate highlights that the top decile is overwhelmingly responsible for the burden of mitigation action, with the top 2% of households by income carrying 48.1% of the mitigation burden. An assessment of the correspondence between in South Africa's international and national policy concludes that intra-national mitigation equity is necessary to achieve developmental and mitigation goals. National mitigation implementation should therefore secure revenue for mitigation through progressive means. Direct revenue recycling may enhance the security net for low-income households and provide a safety net as the country experiences unavoidable employment shifts during the transition to a low-carbon economy.
... The trend in EU shows an increase of 15% in the energy share of household consumption over the period 2008-2012, from 5.6% to 6.4% of total consumption. But while high-income households have higher over- all energy consumption, low-income groups spend a larger share of their income on energy costs [4]. Therefore, such an increase has further negative distributional consequences within the social housing sector. ...
... According to Housing Europe [10] − the European Federation of Public, Cooperative and Social Housing − energy poverty is a growing phenomenon in the EU since 2008 with almost 52 million of people being unable to keep their homes adequately warm. Energy poverty is often defined as a situation where households cannot access to and afford adequate level of heating or other required energy services to meet their basic needs [11,12], or they cannot afford other necessary goods due to the high utility costs [4], while the current challenge for EU Member States is still to develop adequate definitions, supported by statistics, useful for policy making. ...
Article
Although EU policies and actions are focused on rising awareness on climate change, there are strong indications that the implementation of energy-saving measures does not always result in the expected CO2 reduction. The central role of occupants for achieving energy savings is increasingly recognised, and it is even more important in the social housing sector, where the environmental value is combined with the social purpose of reducing inequalities and fuel poverty. The paper examines the existing energy policy instruments and the current analysis methods in relation to occupant behaviour. Strategies to promote behaviour changes are investigated, and the co-benefits of implementing such actions in the social housing sector are highlighted in order to move from behaviour change to systemic change. Four initiatives in Europe (Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and UK) are further investigated to understand the effects of occupant behavioural change towards lower energy consumption in the social housing sector. A comparative matrix for the analysis of the four practices is developed to highlight their common characteristics and divergences, to finally point out opportunities and barriers towards energy efficiency.
... Similar results have been found for residential properties, in both the private and affordable housing sectors. Properties with elements of sustainability certification have shown to have a sales transaction price premium of 2% to 15% (Brounen & Kok, 2011;Brounen, Kok, & Quigley, 2012;Cerin, Hassel, & Semenova, 2014;Chegut, Eichholtz, & Rodrigues, 2015;Copiello, 2015;Dastrup, Graff Zivin, Costa, & Kahn, 2012;Deng, Li, & Quigley, 2012;Feige, Mcallister, & Wallbaum, 2013;Hyland, Lyons, & Lyons, 2013;Kahn & Kok, 2014;Schaffrin & Reibling, 2015;Yoshida & Sugiura, 2014;Zheng, Wu, Kahn, & Deng, 2012). ...
... They chose the range of premiums to be in line with the results of previous empirical studies on the price premium of sustainability certifications and Walk Score. For example, for commercial properties the range in certification-related price premiums is from 6% to 15% (Chegut et al., 2014;Eichholtz et al., 2010Eichholtz et al., , 2013Fuerst & McAllister, 2011;Kok & Jennen, 2012;Miller et al., 2008); 2% to 30% for residential properties (Brounen & Kok, 2011;Brounen et al., 2012;Cerin et al., 2014;Copiello, 2015;Dastrup et al., 2012;Deng et al., 2012;Feige et al., 2013;Hyland et al., 2013;Kahn & Kok, 2014;Schaffrin & Reibling, 2015;Yoshida & Sugiura, 2014;Zheng et al., 2012); and between 40% and 50% for Walk Score (Pivo & Fisher, 2011). While the premiums depend on local market conditions, we deemed the precedent studies to be a good gauge for this speculative examination of the projects in the three cities. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We propose a new design workflow that links environmental performance analysis and financial cash flow modeling. The purpose of this work is to associate sustainable design measures with their potential economic premiums. Our approach assumes that the value of a design intervention is correlated with its financial return: incremental increases in design performance leads to proportional increases in real estate rent value. We tested the proposed design and financial workflow in six pre-concept urban design projects in Boston, Lisbon and Kuwait City. We optimized daylight availability and walkability in each project. Then, we applied a premium to the rent price of each space based on the increased design performance. The applied value-add is based on previous empirical research of sustainability premiums in rent prices. Our results show that increasing the rent prices based on performance can provide up to 5% improvement in the simple yield for a project, producing an incremental cash flow in operation of the property. The results illustrate that, in addition to increasing the design quality, improved performance can add economic value to a project.
... The high-energy costs in Europe are particularly due to the low refurbishment rate of buildings and the low rate of replacement of appliances [13]. Moreover, the share of income spent on energy costs is much higher for vulnerable individuals than for high-income ones [14]. Therefore, efficiency measures, like those that improve the insulation capacities of walls, might be effective at lowering energy bills [15]. ...
... As an example, providing information on how to save energy might promote better energy consumption behaviors and, thus, cost savings [26]. This is especially crucial for vulnerable consumers who, by saving more energy costs, will have more financial resources available for other necessary goods that they usually cannot afford [14]. Compared to other measures, information provision and education measures acknowledge that individual behavior is central to addressing the complex problem of energy poverty. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Insufficient access to affordable, safe and reliable energy services deprives individuals of the essential means to live a good, sufficient and just life. This problem is becoming more and more urgent in urban areas, in particular in low-income neighborhoods, in which the inability to meet energy costs reflects social segregation and distributional inequalities. Making cleaner technologies available for all homes and providing financial aid are strategies that would combat energy poverty. However, understanding people’s everyday decisions that affect their energy use is also crucial. A careful examination of the underlying mechanisms that drive decisions is required, above all in contexts characterized by conditions of scarcity. Living in a context of scarcity depletes people’s available cognitive resources, thus rendering their decisions more susceptible to cognitive biases. As an example, contexts of scarcity trigger a tendency to prefer immediate smaller rewards to delayed larger ones. However, studies demonstrate that this can be mitigated by allowing individuals to build community trust. This study taps into recent findings from behavioral sciences regarding the role that scarcity conditions have on decision-making, with the aim to i) review certain cognitive biases that might arise in energy poverty contexts, and ii) devise strategies to unlock individuals’ potential to make decisions that result in better outcomes for themselves and their surroundings.
... Tam, Almeida, and Le [52] grouped the factors influencing occupant behaviour into objective factors, including environmental conditions such as temperature, air velocity, climate, and noise, and subjective factors, which depend on the personal perception of comfort and are affected by age, metabolic activity, particular mood, habits, sensations, and social interaction. According to Schaffrin and Reibling [53], all forms of consumption energy practices demonstrate lifestyle choices and can be a form of self-expression. ...
Article
Full-text available
Oversimplifying occupant behaviour using static and standard schedules has been identified as a limitation of building energy simulation tools. This paper describes the use of hierarchical cluster analysis to establish the most typical indoor temperature profiles of Albanian dwellings based on monitored indoor temperatures in winter and summer, along with building and occupant surveys undertaken in 49 randomly selected dwellings in Tirana. Three statistically different profiles were developed for each summer and winter, indicating that homes are used in different ways, as well as revealing possible comfort requirements. Furthermore, statistical analysis was undertaken to determine the strength of the association between the clusters and contextual factors related to the building, household, and occupancy. A statistically significant association was found between the presence of children and the clusters in winter, suggesting that families with dependents use more energy. Building-related factors including building type, building age, and wall insulation were found to be statistically significantly associated with clusters in summer. These profiles could provide more accurate outcomes of energy consumption of Albanian homes and energy savings from retrofits. They could also facilitate the development of low-energy strategies and policies for specific households.
... This implies a void in understanding the role of energy efficiency in the housing stock, especially for Europe, where affordable housing institutions play such a prominent role in the residential sector. Moreover, Schaffrin and Reibling (2015) show that low-income households spend a relatively large share of their income on utility costs, which could imply that possible value effects of investments in the environmental performance in housing are large in affordable housing. ...
Article
Strong rental protection in the affordable housing market often prohibits landlords from charging rental premiums for energy-efficient dwellings. This may impede (re)development of energy efficient affordable housing. In the Netherlands, affordable housing institutions regularly sell dwellings from their housing stock to individual households. If they can sell energy efficient dwellings at a premium, this may stimulate investments in the environmental performance of homes. We analyze the value effects of energy efficiency in the affordable housing market, by using a sample of 17,835 homes sold by Dutch affordable housing institutions in the period between 2008 and 2013. We use Energy Performance Certificates to determine the value of energy efficiency in these transactions. We document that dwellings with high energy efficiency sell for 2.0–6.3% more compared to otherwise similar dwellings with low energy efficiency. This implies a premium of some EUR 3,000 to EUR 9,700 for highly energy efficient affordable housing.
... These strategies incorporate financial incentives or subsidies by such means as taxes, support funds, premiums, etc., and also nonfinancial incentives such as regulations, standards and prohibitions (Cardenas et al., 2016). The European Union, for example, has numerous national and supranational climate policies aiming to reach a target of 20% reduction in GHG emissions by 2020 (Schaffrin and Reibling, 2015). China is under considerable pressure to reduce its CO 2 emissions and has made a public commitment to substantial cuts by 2020 (Chen and Groenewold, 2015). ...
Article
Global warming and environment problems caused by the excessive emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs), along with rapid economic development has attracted the attention of many countries and regions of the world. Reducing GHG emissions is essential to mitigate the threat of global warming. Household carbon (dioxide) emissions have been recognized as one of the most important contributors to climate change, with a significant impact on both the local and global environment, and various policy instruments have been implemented by governments to bring about the reduction.
... One solution is to perhaps design an effective energy-saving campaign highlighting the improvement of LIHs' wellbeing by emphasizing the balance between their thermal comfort needs and money-saving potential. Future research in this area may follow Schaffrin and Reibling's lead [94] to extrapolate and analyze need versus lifestyle-based consumption across and within different income groups. Importantly, positive messages about energy conservation and the strategies to improve an individual's perceived ability to perform energy-saving behaviors could be also emphasized. ...
Article
Low-income households comprise an important, but often-neglected, target population for energy reduction in the U.S. residential sector. Previous research of this population tends to emphasize demographic and economic factors with little consideration of social-psychological variables. This paper utilized the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to investigate how demographics, climate zones, and a set of social-psychological variables, including energy concern, bill consciousness, frugality attitude, and thermal comfort (needs for coolness and warmness) influenced energy conservation intentions among 248 low-income households across the U.S. Results indicated that the three TPB variables alone (attitudes toward energy- conservation, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control) had positive effects on energy conservation intentions. Attitudes toward energy-conservation and perceived behavioral control remained as the strongest predictors after accounting for other variables. Meanwhile, bill consciousness positively predicted energy conservation intentions, whereas needs for warmness and coolness negatively predicted intentions. Gender and climate zones predicted intentions when other variables were not included in the model. This study provides important insights on low-income households’ energy-conservation intentions, as well as the antecedents and potential barriers, which provide useful recommendations for future energy policy initiatives.
... The consumer behaviour is difficult to capture and model since it is by definition subjective. Previous research tried to quantify the correlation between the propensity to invest in EE (intended as both housing renovation and the purchase of energyefficient appliances) and factors like income, age, and education (Hausman 1979;Mills and Schleich 2010;Ward et al. 2011;Murray and Mills 2011;Allcott 2011b;Davis and Metcalf 2014;Houde 2014;Newell and Siikamäki 2013;Schaffrin and Reibling 2015;Bartiaux and Gram-Hanssen 2005). Most of the studies agree on a positive correlation between household's income and investment level. ...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we examine the value of investing in energy-efficient household appliances from both an energy system and end-user perspectives. We consider a set of appliance categories constituting the majority of the electricity consumption in the private household sector, and focus on the stock of products which need to be replaced. First, we look at the energy system and investigate whether investing in improved energy efficiency can compete with the cost of electricity supply from existing or new power plants. To assess the analysis, Balmorel, a linear optimization model for the heat and power sectors, has been extended in order to endogenously determine the best possible investments in more efficient home appliances. Second, we propose a method to relate the optimal energy system solution to the end-user choices by incorporating consumer behaviour and electricity price addition due to taxes. The model is non-exclusively tested on the Danish energy system under different scenarios. Computational experiments show that several energy efficiency measures in the household sector should be regarded as valuable investments (e.g. an efficient lighting system) while others would require some form of support to become profitable. The analysis quantifies energy and economic savings from the consumer side and reveals the impacts on the Danish power system and surrounding countries. Compared to a business-as-usual energy scenario, the end-user attains net economic savings in the range of 30–40 EUR per year, and the system can benefit of an annual electricity demand reduction of 140–150 GWh. The paper enriches the existing literature about energy efficiency modelling in households, contributing with novel models, methods, and findings related to the Danish case.
... The stock uses energy to generate various services according to the embodied technology. Omitting the capital stock from the model would risk biasing the empirical results (Neary, 1980; Deaton and Muellbauer, 1981) and obscuring the effect of energy services (Hunt and Ryan, 2015;Schaffrin and Reiblin, 2015). Climatic conditions by their nature are exogenous to consumer choices. ...
... Bernstein and Griffin 2006;Fezzi and Bunn 2010;Horowitz 2007;Huang and Huang 2012;Labandeira et al. 2012). We also make use of the literature on estimation of non-linear demand models for electricity (Bigerna and Bollino 2014); informed electricity consumers (Faruqui and Sergici 2010); climate effects (Schaffrin and Reiblin 2015;Duarte et al. 2012;Curtis and Pentecost 2015); residential electricity demand in a household production model (Willett and Naghshpour 1987;Flaig 1990); energy efficiency (Hunt and Ryan 2015); impact of weather on short-term and long-term residential demand (Bašta and Helman 2013;Auffhammer and Mansur 2014).In the literature, there are only a few examples of electricity demand estimation explicitly based on multi-stage utility or separability theory, e.g. Hausman et al. (1979), Dean and Lawson (1992), Petersen (2002). ...
Article
The purpose of this paper is to empirically estimate a model of aggregate residential and commercial energy demand elasticities, taking into account capital stock and climatic effects. We model a theoretically founded non-linear energy demand system, the generalized almost ideal, for the most important 117 countries in the world, which represent around 95% of the world population and 97% of the primary residential energy consumption, for the period 1978–2012. To this end, we assume a multi-stage utility maximization process, which models energy demand within a comprehensive theoretical framework. This paper offers three new contributions to research. First, we model energy aggregate demand response with a flexible and theoretically plausible simultaneous system. Second, we empirically measure the complete structure of price and expenditure elasticities of energy demand worldwide. Third, we explicitly estimate the impact of climate conditions on energy demand, with a newly constructed measure of weather impact based on geo-located heating and cooling degree-days. Econometric estimation reveals quantitative evidence of different income and price elasticities across countries and highlights the weather and capital stock impact on energy demand, inducing energy efficiency. Electricity tends to be a luxury good in advanced economies. Our results have welfare-improving policy implications, because appropriate policy strategies can help public decision-makers promote production efficiency and consumer welfare.
... We use data on household consumption for 109 countries in the world, aggregated in a two-good bundle, the composite good (h 1 ) and the energy services (h 2 ), with capital stock constraint, taken from Atalla et al. (2018). Inclusion of capital stock avoids the risk of empirical bias (Deaton and Muellbauer 1981) and takes account of the energy services impact (Schaffrin and Reiblin 2015). ...
Article
The class of flexible functional forms for the utility and cost function has been characterized by the pioneering work of Gorman (Some Engel curves. In: Deaton A (ed) Essays in the theory and measurement of consumer behaviour. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1981), known as the Gorman polar form. Despite several decades have elapsed, the economic literature has not found the most general functional form that satisfies Gorman’s theorem. This note provides a new general theoretical and parametric formulation of demand functions, labeled general expenditure system (GES), satisfying the Gorman requirement that the Engel curve cannot exceed a polynomial of third degree in expenditure. Estimates show that the GES is a significant generalization of previous popular flexible functions.
... More recently, a number of studies are focusing on energy demand, services and climate mitigation from developing countries (Sathaye and Meyers 1985, Ürge-Vorsatz and Novikova 2006, Ürge-Vorsatz and Novikova 2008, Cabeza et al 2014, Zheng et al 2014, Ahmad et al 2015, Schaffrin and Reibling 2015, Rao and Ummel 2017, Yu et al 2018, and on urban transitions and climate mitigation (Bulkeley 2013, Evans et al 2016, Raven et al 2017, Luque-Ayala et al 2018, Peng and Bai 2018, Khosla and Bhardwaj 2019. The literature on the role of energy related practices (Shove and Warde 2002, Shove and Pantzar 2005, Stephenson et al 2010, Spaargaren 2011, Lutzenhiser 2014, Hess et al 2018 and behaviors in reducing residential demand (Langevin et al 2013, Frederiks et al 2015, Hong et al 2016, Huebner et al 2016, Delzendeh et al 2017, D'Oca et al 2018, Ding et al 2018, Zhang et al 2018 is also growing. ...
Article
Full-text available
Growing household energy demand, particularly in developing countries starting from a low base of consumption, is an important driver of current and future greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, our understanding of transitioning residential energy demand in developing country contexts is limited. This paper discusses changing energy service demands in urban low-income households in India, an emerging economy where the largest future growth in energy demand globally is projected to occur, and where 12 million new low-income homes for the urban poor are to be built by the government between 2015 and 2022. Based on mixed quantitative and qualitative methods comprising of surveys, interviews and focus group discussions, we analyze two inter-related questions: how does the demand for energy services change as the ability of low-income households to consume increases; and how do energy related behaviors influence household electricity consumption? We analyze the data collected to rank households according to their ability to consume and to identify the types of, and progression in, energy services acquired. The appliances and associated services pursued are lights, fans, televisions, and refrigerators, with varied energy efficiencies. Analogously, we quantify the influence of behavior in determining electricity consumption, and show that the inclusion of socio-demographic and behavioral factors explain a significant proportion (51%) of the variance in household electricity consumption, along with the role of material factors such as building physical characteristics and appliance stocks. We complement the statistical analysis with qualitative fieldwork and discuss changing energy related behaviors as the ability of households to consume increases. We conclude with recommendations for climate actions that are compatible with development in the growing low-income housing stock.
... This includes low-income households, unemployed individuals, retirees, disabled individuals, and large families. These groups are exposed to a number of energy vulnerabilities, for example low-income groups spend a larger share of their income on energy costs than high-income households (Schaffrin and Reibling, 2015). In some cases tenants may need to make energy-consuming adjustments to the dwelling, or add consumptive appliances for health-related reasons (keeping house warm, medical equipment, etc.). ...
Article
Full-text available
Behavioral Economics has in recent years played a key role in informing the design of non-price interventions aimed at promoting energy conservation behaviors in residential areas. Some of the most influential contributions of the discipline in an applied setting have centered around the development of norm-based interventions. The success that these interventions have had in specific contexts presents an opportunity to utilize them as tools for tackling a prevalent type of poverty at the EU level: energy poverty. Recent contributions to the literature highlight the role of inefficient energy behavior as a significant driver of this particular type of poverty, which is characterised by an inability to afford the basic energy services necessary to guarantee a decent standard of living. Therefore, the effectiveness of norm-based interventions in vulnerable populations merits further investigation to determine whether this approach can suitably address the behavioral components of energy poverty by promoting efficient energy consumption and conservation efforts. This is particularly imperative when combined with retrofitting innovations, as it can help avoid negative behavioral responses often associated with the implementation of efficiency upgrades, such as rebound effects. This study reports on a pilot conducted in an exemplary social housing context (located in Bolzano, Italy) with the aim to assess the effectiveness of social comparison interventions in energy vulnerable groups. Using a design that combines appeals to injunctive and descriptive norms embedded within In-Home Devices (IHD) in recently retrofitted homes, our objective is to set a basis for the assessment of effectiveness of these types of interventions in social housing populations. Our study seeks to provide useful methodological insights to policy makers on how to effectively design behaviorally informed interventions aimed at tackling energy poverty.
... Limitations in energy savings can relate to observable short-term and long-term variations in household energy use that are attributable to the dynamics of everyday life (Gill, Tierney, Pegg, & Allan, 2010;Gram-Hanssen, 2010). These complement (and perhaps even supersede in importance) 'classical' socio-economic factors such as household size and composition (Druckman & Jackson, 2008;McLoughlin, Duffy, & Conlon, 2012;Wyatt, 2013;Yohanis, Mondol, Wright, & Norton, 2008), household income (Druckman & Jackson, 2008;McLoughlin et al., 2012;Sanquist, Orr, Shui, & Bittner, 2012;Schaffrin & Reibling, 2015;Wyatt, 2013), and tenure type (Belaid, 2016;Druckman & Jackson, 2008;Wyatt, 2013;Yohanis et al., 2008). ...
Article
Full-text available
Government- and community-initiated energy retrofits of existing residential buildings abound across Europe. This paper argues that retrofitting initiatives need to extend their current emphasis on technical-material changes to include an equally strong focus on researching and potentially changing the energy-related expectations, aspirations and actual activities of those who inhabit and use these buildings. The concept of energy cultures serves as a useful heuristic to structure the analysis of household energy demand and internal environment. Covering three key elements of energy culture – 1) material conditions that relate directly to domestic energy use, 2) householders’ attitudes, perceptions and norms concerning the use of energy and 3) observable everyday practices that use energy –, and their interactions, we examine data from 20 households in a social housing estate in Ireland collected before and after retrofitting. Overall, the results highlight the urgent need for an integrated approach to energy retrofitting that combines technology-aided changes in material conditions with a parallel re-shaping of householders’ views and practices to achieve real and lasting reductions in energy use. The latter seems particularly pressing given both the persistence of many energy-intensive domestic activities and the possible emergence of rebound effects that have the potential to cancel out at least some of the savings made through retrofitting.
... Notable exceptions are Malta (with high average household size and a predominantly urban sample (92%) and Denmark (with low average household size and a largely rural sample, with as much as 43% of the sample living in sparsely populated areas). Denmark has a long tradition of a social-democratic welfare regime [46] with more liberal attitudes to family relationships and lower levels of religiosity, which may explain the relatively lower household sizes at lower population density. Compared to Western Europe, there is higher religious participation in Malta, attaching great importance to teachings regarding family life, the morality of abortion, divorce and other matters [47], which may explain the relatively large average household size. ...
Article
Full-text available
As households get smaller worldwide, the extent of sharing within households reduces, resulting in rising per capita energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This article examines for the first time the differences in household economies of scale across EU countries as a way to support reductions in energy use and GHG emissions, while considering differences in effects across consumption domains and urban-rural typology. A country-comparative analysis is important to facilitate the formulation of context-specific initiatives and policies for resource sharing. We find that one-person households are most carbon- and energy-intensive per capita with an EU average of 9.2 tCO2eq/cap and 0.14 TJ/cap, and a total contribution of about 17% to the EU’s carbon and energy use. Two-person households contribute about 31% to the EU carbon and energy footprint, while those of five or more members add about 9%. The average carbon and energy footprints of an EU household of five or more is about half that of a one-person average household, amounting to 4.6 tCO2eq/cap and 0.07 TJ/cap. Household economies of scale vary substantially across consumption categories, urban-rural typology and EU countries. Substantial household economies of scale are noted for home energy, real estate services and miscellaneous services such as waste treatment and water supply; yet, some of the weakest household economies of scale occur in high carbon domains such as transport. Furthermore, Northern and Central European states are more likely to report strong household economies of scale—particularly in sparsely populated areas—compared to Southern and Eastern European countries. We discuss ways in which differences in household economies of scale may be linked to social, political and climatic conditions. We also provide policy recommendations for encouraging sharing within and between households as a contribution to climate change mitigation.
... Social-democratic countries are supposedly more egalitarian, while liberal ones are less egalitarian, and conservative regimes are somewhere in the middle. For instance,Schaffrin & Reibling (2015) use these welfare state regimes to model differences in how poorer and richer households adopt energy technologies. They use Denmark, Austria and the UK as examples of the social-democratic, conservative and liberal regimes, respectively. ...
Thesis
Scholars have highlighted the role of income distribution as a fundamental factor to understand consumption, health, adoption of technologies, social cohesion, democratic stability, and long term economic performance, among other phenomena. Moreover, reducing income inequality was included in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. However, less attention has been put on the link between differences in household incomes and other pressing sustainability challenges, such as those that depend on massive adoption of new technologies within network industry sectors: telecommunications, waste management, transport, energy and water. Does existent income inequality translate into adoption gaps within these sectors? Is inequality an obstacle for advancing the vision of an inter-connected and more sustainable world? This research explores these questions through seven stand-alone papers, which focus on adoption of broadband internet, municipal recycling and railway passenger transport. Part I of the thesis includes four papers based on publicly available data from traditional mainstream sources. Chapter 1 provides a systematic map of the peer-reviewed literature on the link between income inequality and adoption of the three selected network technologies. Chapter 2 looks at country-level panel data from OECD countries. Chapter 3 analyses cross-sectional data in a broader world-wide sample. Chapter 4 compares borough-level recycling and income distribution in two European cities: London (United Kingdom) and Barcelona (Spain). Part II provides an in-depth analysis of two South American metropolitan areas: Santiago (Chile) and Medellín (Colombia). This part includes three papers (chapters 5, 6 and 7), each one focusing on a specific sector, that employ mixed-methods based on fieldwork conducted in both cities. The main contributions of the thesis are new evidence on the negative effect of income inequality on network technology adoption, and a discussion of the role of formal and informal institutions in this relationship.
... • In light of the systemic nature of injustice underpinning many inequitable outcomes, there is currently insufficient data and analysis on the systemic barriers to access and implementation challenges of interventions for vulnerable populations. For example, many authors (Cayla, Maizi, & Marchand 2011;Gillard et al. 2017;Schaffrin & Reibling 2015) have pointed out that a deeper understanding of individual needs, behaviour patterns and energy use practices in buildings across different income groups, and their relationship to contextual factors (e.g. welfare regimes, housing systems etc.) is required. ...
Article
Full-text available
Climate justice is explained and explored in relation to how decisions about the built environment in the climate context intersect with human wellbeing. Key features in the built environment are identified that impact upon climate injustice. Specific processes, decisions and actions are identified to reduce these injustices and to reduce current gaps both in knowledge and practices. A conceptual and practical context is provided for integrating concerns about climate justice into research and decision-making about the built environment by addressing four underlying questions: 1. What is climate justice and why is it a significant issue? 2. Why is the built environment important in addressing climate injustice, and why is climate justice essential for the built environment community to consider? 3. What processes can be used to reduce inequities and injustices in the built environment? 4. What roles might the academic community, governmental entities, and practitioners in construction, design and real estate, have in facilitating deeper integration of climate justice? A capabilities approach is proposed to systematically uncover and address underlying patterns of injustice. A multi-valent approach involving distributive, procedural and recognition justice can be harnessed to constitute a justice framework. A process of change is needed to: (i) reframe, reposition and extend current built environment research to engage with wider issues of justice, (ii) build and make accessible the evidence base for the identification and mitigation of inequities in climate risk exposures, vulnerabilities, and effective and equitable adaptation pathways and (iii) define responsibilities for different actors.
... This includes low-income households, unemployed individuals, retirees, disabled individuals, and large families who are typically home for large portions of a day. These groups are exposed to a number of energy vulnerabilities, for example low-income groups spend a larger share of their income on energy costs than high-income households (Schaffrin and Reibling, 2015). In some cases tenants may need to make energy-consuming adjustments to the dwelling, or add consumptive appliances for health-related reasons (keeping house warm, medical equipment, etc.). ...
Preprint
Behavioral Economics has in recent years played a key role in informing the design of non-price interventions aimed at promoting energy conservation behaviors in residential areas. Some of the most influential contributions of the discipline in an applied setting have centered around the development of norm-based interventions. The success that these interventions have had in specific contexts presents an opportunity to utilize them as tools for tackling a prevalent type of poverty at the EU level: energy poverty. Recent contributions to the literature highlight the role of inefficient energy behavior as a significant driver of this particular type of poverty, which is characterised by an inability to afford the basic energy services necessary to guarantee a decent standard of living. Therefore, the effectiveness of norm-based interventions in vulnerable populations merits further investigation to determine whether this approach can suitably address the behavioral components of energy poverty by promoting efficient energy consumption and conservation efforts. This is particularly imperative when combined with retrofitting innovations, as it can help avoid negative behavioral responses often associated with the implementation of efficiency upgrades, such as rebound effects. This study reports on a pilot conducted in an exemplary social housing context (located in Bolzano, Italy) with the aim to assess the effectiveness of social comparison interventions in energy vulnerable groups. Using a design that combines appeals to injunctive and descriptive norms embedded within In-Home Devices (IHD) in recently retrofitted homes, our objective is to set a basis for the assessment of effectiveness of these types of interventions in social housing populations. Our study seeks to provide useful methodological insights to policy makers on how to effectively design behaviourally informed interventions aimed at tackling energy poverty.
... Moreover, the sources of interest in the IHDs and cognitive biases may have a different effect in high-income contexts (Dillahunt et al. 2009;Westskog et al. 2015). As an example, the economic incentive is likely to weigh more for vulnerable consumers because, by reducing the energy costs, they will have more financial resources to access other necessary goods that they might not afford otherwise (Schaffrin and Reibling 2015). On the other hand, high-income households may be more interested in the environmental (or social) return of IHDs (Kollmuss and Agyeman 2002). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
The SINFONIA project is one of the first attempts to combine technological and behavioral policy levers to fight energy poverty in social housing districts. Tenants of Bolzano social housing are provided with renovated dwellings. To enhance the management of the renovated capital stock, they are also supplied with an in-home display (IHD) that provides real-time feedback on energy consumption and indoor parameters. But how will tenants react to IHDs? Previous studies investigate which features and benefits of IHDs generate engagement, but they yield little useful information on their effectiveness in low socioeconomic-status settings. With this study, we examine the behavioral process underlying tenants’ usage of IHDs. In contrast to the existing literature, we consider how cognitive biases, specifically, locus of control and present bias, affect the degree of interaction with IHDs. Their consideration is particularly important in this setting: Scarcity affects the cognitive process in a way that may undermine the effectiveness of projects requiring active behavioral change (such as IHDs). To integrate the various elements and account for their relative importance, we develop a theoretical model of the decision to interact with in-home displays (IHDs). On the one hand, by interacting with IHDs, tenants reduce their energy bills and CO2 emissions, deriving economic and moral utility. On the other hand, interacting with the IHDs generates disutility, for instance, in terms of opportunity cost of time to put in place their feedback. The interaction will occur only if the expected benefits are higher than the expected costs. We argue that such cost-benefit evaluation is further affected by present bias and locus of control. First, a stronger present bias may lead to higher discounting of such benefits and make them loom weaker than the immediate effort required to use the IHD. Second, a more external locus of control may downgrade the perception of energy saving resulting from IHDs usage, thereby reducing the expected economic and environmental benefits associated with a specific level of interaction. Through a theoretical discussion, our work contributes to informing the design of policies aimed at tackling energy poverty.
... The European Union is an excellent example of how to set climate strategies on different levels. It can be seen that various national and supranational climate policies in the EU are aiming to reach a target of a 20% reduction in GHG emissions by 2020 (Schaffrin and Reibling, 2015). As a significant consumption sector, households need to be studied in depth. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The need to develop and improve accounting in the Republic of Azerbaijan is due to a number of external and internal factors. The country's accession to the ongoing and deepening economic integration in the world, the strengthening of foreign investment flows, the expansion of enterprises' relations with foreign companies, the improvement of accounting, reporting and analysis, and the development of international standards are external factors that determine adaptation. In the emerging single economic area, in international markets, it is the information provided by accounting, analysis, auditing and reporting. The formation of this information in a way that everyone can understand is consistent with the theoretical and methodological foundations of global accounting and reporting, including accounting, analysis and reporting on current assets. However, it is theoretically and practically incorrect to attribute the need to improve the accounting and analysis of current assets and bring them into line with international standards solely on external factors. The point is that the existing system of accounting, analysis and reporting in this area has certain shortcomings and deficiencies from a theoretical, methodological and practical point of view. In general, the current state of accounting, analysis and reporting of short-term assets does not fully correspond to the modern dynamics and characteristics of a market economy, and its development. Thus, it becomes an objective necessity to conduct a comprehensive study of the current state of accounting, analysis and reporting of current assets in the country, to improve it and bring it in line with international standards.
Book
Das Zauberwort Innovation beherrscht nicht nur die öffentlichen Debatten über nachhaltige Entwicklung sondern auch den wissenschaftlichen Diskurs um gesellschaftliche Nachhaltigkeitstransformation. Das Antonym Exnovation, d.h. die Abschaffung von Altem, ist dagegen kaum gebräuchlich und nur unzureichend elaboriert. Ohne begleitende Exnovationen haben Innovationen aber lediglich additiven Charakter: Sie führen oftmals zu einem Mehr an Produktion und Konsum, mithin zu einer Verschärfung ökologischer Probleme. In manchen Bereichenscheint gar das ersatzlose Streichen unhaltbarer Produktionsweisen und Konsumpraktiken angesagt, also Exnovation ohne Innovation. Höchste Zeit also, Prozesse des Abschaffens stärker in den Blick zu nehmen und den Begriff der Innovation einer kritischen Reflexion zu unterziehen. Entstanden aus einer Tagung der Nachwuchsgruppe Umweltsoziologie erschließt der vorliegende Band aus vielfältigen disziplinären Perspektiven das Forschungsfeld.
Article
Energy poverty still affects more than 37 million people in Europe. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, this number may increase significantly. However, efforts to tackle this complex problem have thus far proved insufficient. The intersection of domains from different disciplines is increasingly relevant within energy social science. Social entrepreneurship has a mission to alleviate social problems. Thus, the role of social entrepreneurship and social innovation in tackling energy poverty, although still an emerging area of research, is receiving increasing attention. With an aim to contribute to assessing the state of the research on this topic, a systematic literature review was developed on the intersection between energy poverty, social innovation, and social entrepreneurship in countries in the Global North. The results of the review show the central dimensions of social entrepreneurship and social innovation outlined by researchers, such as the collective and network nature of social entrepreneurship, hybrid skills, proximity, involvement of households, and a user-centred approach, shedding light on the primary potentialities of interventions in energy poverty driven by the social entrepreneurship phenomenon. Such findings may help social entrepreneurs and innovators, as well as policymakers, recognise possibilities and challenges in the field. Based on the outcomes of this review, potential new avenues for research within the intersection of the three domains are identified.
Chapter
Full-text available
Auch in einem der reichsten Länder der Welt wie Österreich gibt es Menschen, die in der kalten Jahreszeit ihre Wohnung nicht angemessen warm halten können, denen das Warmwasser zum Baden der Kinder fehlt oder die mit der ständigen Sorge leben müssen, wie sie ihre Schulden beim Energieversorger abtragen. Für andere Menschen wiederum ist der Energiekonsum unreflektierte Selbstverständlichkeit, sind Energiekosten kein nennenswertes Problem im monatlichen Haushaltsbudget. Während die einen ihren Energiekonsum teilweise radikal einschränken müssen, konsumieren die anderen so viel wie nötig ist, um eine wohlige Temperatur in der Wohnung zu haben oder den Gerätepark am Funktionieren zu halten.
Chapter
Lebenswertes Wohnen gehört zu den menschlichen Grundbedürfnissen und beeinflusst nicht nur unser körperliches, soziales und materielles Wohlbefinden; wir wenden auch einen Großteil unserer verfügbaren Resourcen zur Gestaltung und Verbesserung unserer Wohnsituation auf (Grösche 2010; Healy 2003; Sardianou 2007). Die Bedeutung von Haushaltsenergie zeigt sich auch anhand des konstant hohen Bedarfs nach Strom und Gas bei gleichzeitiger Effizienzsteigerung von Gebäuden und Geräten, einer sich verändernden Haushaltszusammensetzung und zunehmendem Energiekonsum für Luxusgüter (z. B. Dresner und Ekins 2006; Umweltbundesamt 2015). Dieser Entwicklung stehen fluktuierende Energiepreise und Bestrebungen der Europäischen Länder zur Reduzierung von Klimagasen durch Haushaltsenergie gegenüber.
Chapter
The Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals comprehensively addresses the SDGs in an integrated way. The Encyclopedia encompasses 17 volumes, each one devoted to one of the 17 SDGs. This paper belongs to the volume that addresses SDG 7, namely "Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” and contains the description of a range of terms, which allow a better understanding and foster knowledge.
Chapter
This chapter deals with not only household car ownership and usage, but also ownership and usage of in-home electric and electronic appliances from the perspective of energy consumption. Household energy consumption is an outcome of a series of life choices including end-use ownership, end-use efficiency, end-use usage, time use, expenditure allocation, residential location choice, employment choice, and household structure decisions. It is related to all life domains and also has externalities such as impacts on health. Life-oriented methodology that considers the potential interactions between household energy consumption and other life choices would be more appropriate to investigate this issue. To that end, this chapter sheds light on three fundamental questions related to household energy consumption: (1) How much is the minimum energy demand for households in the context of their life choices? (2) How do factors of attitude, belief and consciousness work on residential choice and household energy consumption? (3) How can household energy demand be actively managed by designing life choice-oriented interdisciplinary policies? In this chapter, the externality of household energy use on health is discussed as well.
Article
Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern clean energy is essential for economic development, making energy poverty a pressing matter for both developing and developed countries. Studies have shown that low levels of income and consumption indicate poverty, and the essence of poverty is “capability poverty,” which has formed a new understanding of the causes of poverty. This study extends the capability framework to energy poverty. It uses data from the 2014, 2016, and 2018 China Family Panel Studies (CFPS) to build an empirical model to analyze the impact of cognitive capability on household energy poverty in terms of income levels and energy decision-making. A higher cognitive capability has a significant impact on encouraging households to eradicate energy poverty. Further, the non-linear moderation model is used to test the impact of the interaction between cognitive capability and income, information, and social network on energy poverty. This study provides a new perspective for understanding the driving factors of energy poverty and offers novel recommendations for policymakers to address the problem.
Data
Full-text available
Article
Dwellings with no heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are commonly found in many countries. The long-term thermal performance of these buildings can be assessed based on hourly data of occupant thermal discomfort integrated over the required timespan (e.g. total degree hours of discomfort per year). This approach can be easily applied when simulation is adopted in the assessment, but field studies using this approach are rare as they would require complex, costly and long measurement/survey campaigns. This paper addresses the challenges on conducting field studies on long-term thermal performance of dwellings with no HVAC system by introducing a novel performance indicator: the Seasonal Thermal Sensation Vote (S-TSV). S-TSV adopts the standard 7-point thermal sensation scale and is based on the perceived overall thermal sensation recalled by the user of the building for specific seasons and times of day. The new performance indicator is not intended to replace existing ones, but to complement them in the understanding of the complex thermal performance processes taking place in buildings with no HVAC. S-TSV was applied in a field study targeting a small sample of dwellings in Brazil. Results demonstrate the capabilities of S-TSV to describe trends in buildings performance in this sample. S-TSV also assisted on the identification of relationships between such performance and some independent variables addressed in this field study (e.g. windows operation, footwear and income), considering a threshold of p-values <0.05 on the chi-square statistic test.
Article
Abstract Measuring regional differences in fossil energy consumption is the first step to the study of natural resource allocation and utilization. This paper employs annual and cumulative consumption Gini indexes as well as the deviation index to discuss regional differences in the per capita consumption of fossil energy and related products across 30 Chinese provinces from 1997 to 2013. The results show that Chinese inter-provincial Gini ratio of fossil energy consumption is below 0.3 in recent years, and change in per capita energy consumption is the key factor behind the decline in the overall Gini index. Unlike existing studies based only on annual flows of energy consumption, this paper also focuses on cumulative energy consumption. Moreover, decomposing annual and cumulative consumption Gini coefficients by type, group, and incremental variation is rarely seen in other studies. Based on the above positive analysis, the paper provides some policymaking suggestions.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In many European countries the share of existing old buildings-built before the first heat-conservation regulation-is large. Thus, these buildings represent a huge potential for energy saving which, however, is hard to exploit. Achieving this challenge depends not only on technical solutions but also on socioeconomic drivers and barriers (skills of stakeholders, motivational aspects, household incomes, regulation and incentives, norms and values…). Our paper results from a study covering five European countries. It aims at analysing the importance of socioeconomic and cultural factors in the decision making process, and to identify the supply conditions necessary to meet households' needs in terms of energy-efficient refurbishment. To do so, several energy efficient retrofitted houses in private ownership in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and France were selected as case studies. For each case, on-site qualitative interviews were conducted with the owners, residents and involved professionals. Prior to that field work, a thorough context analysis was conducted in each country in order to reveal specificities regarding the retrofitting markets, and the support measures implemented by local or national authorities as regards energy refurbishment. This study allows to compare experiences and to share knowledge about support actions able to boost energy-efficient retrofitting. Amongst others, the paper will examine the following questions: Which are the motivations for implementing energy efficiency measures? Are there any typical profiles of home owners and professionals? What is the role of financial incentives? What is the role of local public structures? 2 of 10 Our results indicate in particular that:-people getting involved in projects of energy-efficient refurbishment seem not to be mainly and exclusively motivated by energy savings,-there is apparently a lack of skilled work force able to meet the requirements of energy-efficient retrofitting,-public support schemes for retrofitting measures appear to play a crucial role,-the local embedding of projects seems to be important.
Research
Full-text available
https://www.publichealth.ie/sites/default/files/documents/files/Fuel%20Poverty%20Report%20December%202011.pdf
Article
Full-text available
Policy makers justify renewable energy promotion policies partly on the grounds that such policies have positive employment impacts. We apply a computable general equilibrium model to assess the labour market impacts of the feed-in tariff policy used by the Government of Ontario. We find that although the policy is successful at increasing the employment in the 'green' sectors of the economy, the policy is also likely to increase the rate of unemployment in the province, and to reduce overall labour force participation. We conclude that policies designed to promote renewable energy should be promoted for the sake of their environmental impacts, not for their labour market effects.
Article
Full-text available
Many tools that are helpful for evaluating emissions mitigation measures, such as carbon abatement cost curves, focus exclusively on cost and emissions reduction potential without quantifying the direct and indirect impacts on stakeholders. The impacts of climate change will be the most severe and immediate for billions of poor people, especially for those whose livelihoods are based on agriculture and subsistence activities and are directly dependent on weather patterns. Thus, equity and vulnerability considerations must be central to GHG emissions reduction strategies. A case study of a carbon abatement cost curve for an electricity system in two Nicaraguan rural villages is presented and is complemented with assessments based on the poverty metrics of the poverty headcount, the Gini coefficient, and the Kuznets ratios. Although these metrics are relatively easy to calculate, the study provides a general indication as to how the social impacts of mitigation strategies on the poor ( whether they are in rural or urban environments, developed or developing countries) can be revealed and highlights the inequalities that are embedded in them. Further work analysing how mitigation measures affect the various more detailed poverty indices, such as the Human Development, Gender Equality, or Multidimensional Poverty indices, is needed.
Article
Full-text available
This paper addresses the question of whether the evidence on positive relationship between environmental attitudes and household energy consumption in advanced post-industrial societies can be extended to emerging economies. In this study, we focused on electricity use and utilized multivariate regression to test the above hypothesis on a sample of residents of Óbuda (Budapest) in February 2011. The analysis suggests that the findings on the positive environmental attitude-behaviour relationship in advanced post-industrial societies can be extended to some (relatively affluent) communities in post-socialist societies. Our data also showed that the effects of housing type and demography are much larger compared to the effects of the attitudes. We emphasize that our findings do not provide evidence against the hypothesis on the interaction between the effects of societal culture and individual attitudes on pro-environmental behaviour.
Article
Full-text available
As it has long been debated who is a front-runner and who is a laggard state in terms of environmental protection it is rather surprising that the topic has received rather scant attention as far as quantitative, large-n research endeavours are concerned. Of course, there is a broad literature on the topic. However, existing studies have shortcomings. The criteria on which the assessments rely are often neither equivalent cross-nationally nor are they communicated clearly enough (i.e., not transparent). Although ambitious efforts have been invested to rank countries in terms of their environmental performance, little systematic research exists that clearly determines leaders and laggards in terms of their policies (policy performance) and states’ ranking, accordingly.To the best of our knowledge no empirical study has so far conducted a comprehensive and quantitative leader-laggard assessment policy analysis. Against this backdrop, we aim to provide such a paper. We especially strive to test the validity of “common knowledge” classifications or rankings derived from assessments in the literature.We demonstrate that while some known frontrunner states are indeed leaders if assessed from a broader policy data perspective, other countries commonly assigned a leader role find themselves in a lower position instead. In addition, some nations commonly excluded from the frontrunners are located unexpectedly high in the rankings. Even leader-laggard reversals occur if our results would be compared to existing classifications. Most importantly, the analyses show a considerable temporal dynamic. While often claimed or assumed, this has not been proven as clearly until now.
Article
Full-text available
The case for taking action to tackle climate change is now persuasive. It is developed countries who must reduce GHG emissions most and this paper focuses on one such country – the UK. We address issues associated with the decarbonisation of the built environment and the housing stock in particular. We demonstrate the potential for significant unintended consequences and discuss the complexity involved in attempting to understand such processes. We argue the urgent need for the formation of multi- and inter-disciplinary teams with the diverse range of skill sets required to think together and to address these issues. Such teams must involve (at least) Building Physicists, Engineers, Economists, Epidemiologists, Statisticians, Behavioural Scientists, Complexity Scientists and Policy Makers. Without a coordinated and concerted programme of relevant research it is difficult to imagine how the necessary policy will be formulated and implemented effectively without the potential for enormous and irreversible mistakes.
Article
Full-text available
This article offers a critique and analysis of recent OECD research by Adema and Ladaique identifying the impact of taxes and private benefits on social spending. By using the techniques of multivariate modelling, we show that both gross public and net private expenditures are strongly influenced by partisan incumbency, although in opposite directions, and that the more we net out the effect of taxes, the less politics matters and the more spending is shaped by socio-economic forces. In a second stage of the analysis, we show that the crucial mechanism of welfare state redistribution is the taxation of gross social expenditure and demonstrate that this effect is almost entirely political in nature.
Article
Full-text available
It is often assumed that higher environmental concern goes with more positive attitudes toward environmental management strategies and more environmentally friendly behavior. Cultural theory argues this relationship is more complex. Cultural theory distinguishes four ways of life, involving distinct perceptions on environmental risks (so-called myths of nature), which are accompanied by preferences for specific management strategies. The results of this study suggest that environmental concern and myths of nature are overlapping constructs. Moreover, it appeared that respondents differing in environmental concern (as measured by the New Environmental Paradigm Scale and myths of nature) varied substantially in their preferences for environmental management strategies. Respondents with a high environmental risk concern had higher preferences for behavioral change strategies and government regulation, whereas respondents with a low environmental risk concern had higher preferences for market-oriented solutions. There was a tendency of technical strategies being more preferred by respondents with a low environmental concern.
Article
Full-text available
In this study, the role of values in the field of household energy use is investigated by using the concept of quality of life (QOL). Importance judgments on 22 QOL aspects could be summarized into seven clearly interpretable value dimensions. The seven value dimensions and general and specific environmental concern contributed significantly to the explanation of policy support for government regulation and for market strategies aimed at managing environmental problems as well as to the explanation of the acceptability of specific home and transport energy-saving measures. In line with earlier research, home and transport energy use were especially related to sociodemographic variables like income and household size. These results show that it is relevant to distinguish between different measures of environmental impact and different types of environmental intent. Moreover, the results suggest that using only attitudinal variables, such as values, may be too limited to explain all types of environmental behavior.
Article
Full-text available
Debates on how to reduce poverty and inequality have focused on two controversial questions: Should social policies be targeted to low-income groups or be universal? Should benefits be equal for all or earnings-related? Traditional arguments in favor of targeting and flat-rate benefits, focusing on the distribution of the money actually transferred, neglect three policy-relevant considerations: (1) The size of redistributive budgets is not fixed but reflects the structure of welfare state institutions. (2) A trade-off exists between the degree of low-income targeting and the size of redistributive budgets. (3) Outcomes of market-based distribution are often more unequal than those of earnings-related social insurance programs. We argue that social insurance institutions are of central importance for redistributive outcomes. Using new data, our comparative analyses of the effects of different institutional types of welfare states on poverty and inequality indicate that institutional differences lead to unexpected outcomes and generate the paradox of redistribution: The more we target benefits at the poor and the more concerned we are with creating equality via equal public transfers To all, the less likely we are to reduce poverty and inequality.
Article
Full-text available
Do apartment owners in Bulgaria and Latvia carry out energy-saving practices in their homes, and what are the justifications thereof? Do they relate these practices to climate change or to their environmental knowledge? These are the main questions investigated in this research. Data are drawn from a qualitative survey of dwellers’ renovation activities and the motivations thereof. Results indicate that the poor conditions of multi-apartment buildings and the feeling of being cold or uncomfortable are sufficient levers driving energy-related renovations in privately-owned apartments. Environmental concern is never expressed as a lever for undertaking renovation, either in Bulgaria or in Latvia and there exist some scepticism and misunderstanding concerning climate change.
Article
Full-text available
Distributive justice in climate change has been of interest both to the ethics and to the climate policy communities, but the two have remained relatively isolated. By combining an applied ethics approach with a focus on the details of a wide range of proposed international climate policies, this article proposes two arguments. First, three categories of proposals are identified, each characterized by its assumptions about the nature of the ‘problem’ of climate change, the burdens that this problem imposes, and its application of distribution rules. Each category presents potential implications for distributive justice. The second, related, argument is that assumptions about technology, sovereignty, substitution and public perceptions of ethics shape the distributive justice outcomes of proposed policies even though these areas have largely been overlooked in discussions of the subject in either literature. The final lesson of this study is that the definition, measurement and distribution of burdens are all critical variables for distributive justice in climate policy. La justice distributive liée à la politique climatique est d’intérêt pour la communauté de l’éthique ainsi que celle de la politique climatique mais celles-ci sont restées relativement isolées. En alliant une approche d’éthique appliquée ciblée sur un grand éventail de projets de politique climatique internationale ce papier avance deux arguments. D’abord, les trois catégories de projets sont identifiées, chacune caractérisée par ses propres hypothèses sur la nature du « problème » du changement climatique, le poids que ce problème impose, et la mise en oeuvre des lois de distribution. Chaque catégorie a des implications en terme de justice distributive. Le second argument, lié au premier, avance que les hypothèses en matière de technologie, de souveraineté, de substitution et de perception publique de l’éthique façonnent les conséquences en justice distributive des politiques proposées bien que ces questions aient été largement omises dans les discussions sur le sujet dans l’un et l’autre domaine. L’ultime leçon de cette étude est que la définition, la mesure et la distribution des poids sont toutes des variables clés pour la justice distributive de la politique climatique.
Article
Full-text available
Experience with implementation of CO2 taxes spans almost a decade in the Nordic countries, and time is ripe for an evaluation of their performance. In contrast to ex-ante forecasts, empirical research can show the extent to which such taxes deliver on the assumptions of economic theory. A survey of the existing literature shows that there are currently 20 ex-post studies of the full or partial effects of CO2 taxes. Evaluations are complicated by frequent changes in tax rates, widespread exemptions and the `too many variables' problem. Attempts have been made to deal with these problems by using a variety of approaches and research techniques, some more advanced than others. On balance the studies appear to show that emissions have been curbed when compared to businessas-usual forecasts, while absolute CO2 reduction remains the exception. Among the Nordic countries, Denmark's scheme, which combines taxes with subsidies for energy efficiency, seems to have attained the most marked results, although the achieved reductions also reflect the higher carbon content of the Danish energy sector. The evaluations differ considerably in scope, approach and methodology. Methodological issues connected with expost evaluation are considered. An adequate evaluation of the impact of the CO2 taxes, in both environmental and economic terms, will require the establishment of comprehensive panel databases of energy consumers.
Article
Full-text available
Current discussions of energy policy seldom acknowledge the problem of energy poverty, a situation in which a household cannot afford to adequately heat or cool the home. In this article, we examine the concept of energy poverty and describe some of its contours in a rural part of North Carolina. Energy poverty, we suggest, is best viewed as a geographical assemblage of networked materialities and socioeconomic relations. To illustrate this approach, we focus on the geographical patterns of three key determinants of energy poverty in eastern North Carolina: the socioeconomic characteristics of rural households, the networked infrastructures of energy provision, and the material conditions of the home. Throughout, we highlight the lived effects of energy poverty, drawing on transcripts from interviews conducted with recipients of weatherization assistance in the region. The challenges of the energy poor, we suggest, deserve greater attention in public policy and as part of a broader understanding of welfare and care.
Article
Full-text available
The paper analyses six international-scale responses to the financial and climate change ‘double crisis’ in order to: review how they define problems and solutions, analyse what underpins the policy choices revealed in these responses (the ‘green turn’), reflect on the implications of the proposed solutions in terms of sustainability and global environmental justice, and to suggest three elements for a paradigm shift towards an ‘alternative’ turn embedded in ecological economics theory. The analysis reveals that responses by leading international organisations continue to appeal to the precepts of neoclassical economy. We argue that from an ecological economics perspective, policy responses under the various labels of green economy, green growth, sustainable growth, green new deal, fall well short of what is needed to fight the environmental crisis and rising inequality across and within countries. The idea of justice and equity that underpins the mainstream approach seems inadequate in terms of sustaining our environmental base and global environmental justice. Based on this critical review, we propose an ‘alternative turn’, centred on three elements of a paradigm shift leading to a new economy where the environmental base and global environmental justice are at the centre of the discourse.Highlights► We review six international policy responses to the financial and climate change/environmental crises. ► We identify the theoretical elements that shape this ‘green turn’. ► We reflect on the implications of this turn in terms of sustainability and global justice. ► We suggest three elements for a paradigm shift towards an ‘alternative’ turn that draws on ecological economics theory.
Article
Full-text available
Fuel poverty has generally been calculated by quantifying the number of households spending in excess of 10% of income on home heating. This definition has a number of significant practical and scientific limitations. This paper employs self-reported data to calculate the severity of fuel poverty in Ireland to identify chronic fuel-poor households from occasional sufferers. It also assesses domestic energy-efficiency levels. Ireland is a useful case study as it demonstrates the highest variations in seasonal mortality and morbidity in northern Europe, both of which are associated with fuel poverty. Ireland is also experiencing extreme difficulties meeting its environmental emissions targets in light of recent spectacular economic growth. Reducing fuel poverty would lower energy-related emissions, assisting policy makers achieve these challenging targets. Furthermore, little empirical research has been undertaken on fuel poverty in Ireland. This paper identifies key social groups at risk by conducting detailed socio-economic and socio-demographic analyses. The relationship between fuel poverty and adverse housing conditions (damp, condensation) is also examined. Moreover, the reasons behind householders not investing in energy-saving measures are reported. The results show that Ireland suffers from similar levels of fuel poverty as the UK, with low-income households suffering the greatest. The key policy implications are outlined.
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we compare and contrast the results of ethnographic investigations of energy use behaviour in Fukuoka, Japan and Oslo, Norway. These studies show significant differences in end use patterns for space heating, lighting and hot water use. We discuss how these patterns are related to cultural and economic factors. Our findings show that while energy intensive space heating and lighting habits have become an integral part of the presentation of the Norwegian home, Japanese space heat and light habits are more disciplined and less culturally significant. In Japan, the bathing routine is extremely important to the Japanese lifestyle and at the same time very energy intensive. Other energy intensive patterns are identified which do not have the same cultural significance, such as lax temperature setback in Norway and dish washing practices in Japan. The policy implications of these findings are discussed.
Book
In recent years climate change has emerged as an issue of central political importance while the EU has become a major player in international climate change politics. How can a ‘leaderless Europe’ offer leadership in international climate change politics - even in the wake of the UK’s Brexit decision? This book, which has been written by leading experts, offers a critical analysis of the EU leadership role in international climate change politics. It focuses on the main EU institutions, core EU member states and central societal actors (businesses and environmental NGOs). It also contains an external perspective of the EU’s climate change leadership role with chapters on China, India and the USA as well as Norway. Four core themes addressed in the book are: leadership, multilevel and polycentric governance, policy instruments, and the green and low carbon economy. Fundamentally, it asks why we have EU institutional actors, why certain member states and particular societal actors tried to take on a leadership role in climate change politics and how, if at all, have they managed to achieve this? This text will be of key interest to scholars, students and practitioners in EU studies and politics, international relations, comparative politics and environmental politics. © 2017 selection and editorial matter, Rüdiger K.W. Wurzel, James Connelly and Duncan Liefferink.
Article
Residential buildings strongly contribute to global CO2 emissions due to the high energy demand for electricity and heating, particularly in industrialised countries. Within the EU, decentralised heat generation is of particular relevance for future climate policy, as its emissions are not covered by the EU ETS. We conducted a choice experiment concerning energy retrofits for existing houses in Germany. In the experiment, the approximately 400 sampled house owners could either choose a modern heating system or an improved thermal insulation for their home. We used standard and mixed logit specifications to analyse the choice data. We found environmental benefits to have a significant impact on choices of heating systems. However, they played no role in terms of insulation choices. Based on the estimated mixed logit model, we further obtained willingness-to-pay (WTP) measures for CO2 savings.
Article
This publication is a milestone in the analysis of the distributional impacts of environmental policy. It builds upon existing literature to simultaneously examine disparities in the distribution of environmental impacts and in the distribution of financial effects among households. It provides a conceptual framework for facilitating understanding of the disparities in impacts, reviews empirical evidence through a number of case studies, and analyses policy implications.
Article
Austria has long been urged to make wider use of market-based instruments by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Despite this and the significant increase in domestic demands in recent years, the uptake of 'new' environmental policy instruments (NEPIs), namely market-based instruments (such as eco-taxes and tradable permits), voluntary agreements and informational devices (such as eco-labels and eco-audits) has been only moderate. Austria has used some eco-taxes but has refrained from adopting an ecological tax reform. Tradable permits have arrived on the domestic political agenda primarily because of the European Union's efforts to make use of this type of NEPI. Voluntary agreements have been used only very sparingly despite a consensual domestic policy style. Overall, NEPIs have mainly supplemented traditional regulatory instruments and subsidies which continue to dominate Austrian environmental policy. Austria is struggling to leave behind a strongly regulatory past. The Austrian policy structures and style as well as its formidable past environmental record have retarded NEPI innovation.
Article
In recent years most industrialised countries have adopted 'new' environmental policy instruments (NEPIs) voluntary agreements, environmental taxes, tradable permits and eco-labels. This special issue examines the current pattern of use over time (that is, 1970-2000) in eight industrialised countries. This introduction defines a NEPI and introduces the two main objectives of the whole collection, which are to: (1) identify where and when NEPIs are being used, and reflect upon the main drivers of (and barriers to) their continuing uptake, especially in Europe; and (2) assess how 'new' they actually are in comparison to the traditional style, structures and content of national environmental policy. The aim here is to assess how far NEPIs are actually replacing or simply supplementing 'old' instruments, namely regulation? By offering a fresh perspective on the comparative politics of NEPIs, this collection provides an important empirical test of whether government is giving way to a system of environmental governance, in which the level of central steering by the state is much reduced.
Article
Energy-efficiency levels in housing vary considerably across Europe. Poor energy efficiency results in a number of social problems, including fuel poverty and ill health, as well as excess energy consumption which leads to high levels of energy-related environmental emissions; the policy context for these air pollutants is now well established. In light of these policy-drivers, this paper presents a cross-country analysis of housing conditions, energy-efficiency levels, affordability and satisfaction with housing in 14 European countries using longitudinal datasets from the European Community Household Panel for the years 1994-97. Very little empirical analysis of European housing conditions has been undertaken previously. The results indicate the existence of three main typologies in Europe as regards housing conditions, with serious housing deprivation in southern Europe, in terms of poor thermal efficiency, high fuel poverty, burdensome housing costs and low housing-satisfaction rates. In northern Europe, problems of damp and overcrowding are found, especially in the UK, Ireland, France and Belgium. The policy implications of these findings are outlined.
Book
This analytical book on alternative housing systems measures differences in the success and failure of different housing systems and explains how and why they occur. At the same time it moves the argument from the sterile political and ideological debates fixed on "the state" versus "the market", to the analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of the real world state/market mixes. This analysis for housing provision is given particular topicality by the move towards European integration and the emergence of a new eastern Europe. What can be learnt from the relative success and failure of actually existing alternative housing systems? The book sets the comparison of alternative housing systems within the theoretical debate over states and markets, and selects type cases of different welfare state regimes - Britain, France and Sweden - to represent alternative state/market mixes in housing provision. It measures relative success and failure in production efficiency, allocative efficiency and dynamic efficiency. It then explains how and why these differences occur, focusing on alternative housing promotion and land supply systems and different housebuilder strategies. The authors detail real housing systems and draw conclusions about the reasons for their relative success within the debate about markets, states, and social and economic efficiency.
Article
Until the present day, research on fuel poverty focussing on the point of view of those concerned is few and far between. The present paper aims at filling this gap, analysing experiences with and behavioural responses to fuel poverty. It examines the day-to-day energy situation of households, which are poor/at-risk-of-poverty and/or suffering from fuel poverty in a case study conducted in the Austrian capital Vienna. Qualitative interviews provide the data for investigating the relevant factors in causing fuel poverty (among those, bad housing conditions, outdated appliances, financial problems), and provide a basis for discussion about the respective behavioural strategies of the people concerned. The results show that the ways of handling this problematic situation vary greatly and that people follow different strategies when it comes to inventing solutions for coping with the restrictions and finding ways of satisfying at least a part of their basic energy needs. Nonetheless, it also clearly surfaces that the scope of action is limited in many cases, which in turn only supports the claim that changes in the overall conditions are essential.
Article
There are many references to the WHO guidance on thermal comfort in housing, but not to the original source material. Based on archive material, this paper gives the evidential basis for the WHO guidance. It then reports on evidence that some groups may be more susceptible to high or low indoor temperatures than others. It examines different methods for measuring thermal comfort, such as air temperature measurement, assessing residents' perception, and predicting satisfaction. Resident's perception was used effectively in the WHO LARES project, showing that self-reported poor health was significantly associated with poor thermal comfort.Tools to inform strategies directed at dealing with cold homes and fuel poverty are considered, including Energy Performance Certificates, Fuel Poverty Indicators, and the English Housing Health and Safety Rating System. Conclusions from a WHO Workshop on Housing, Energy and Thermal Comfort are also summarised.The WHO view of thermal comfort, which is driven by protecting health from both high and low indoor temperatures, should be recognised in energy efficiency, fuel poverty and climate change strategies. While this is a major challenge, it could provide both health gains for individuals, and economic benefits for society.
Article
Climate change scholars generally urge that CO2 emissions need to be cut rapidly if we are to avoid dangerous risks of climate change. However, climate change mitigation policies are widely perceived to have regressive effects — that is, putting a higher financial burden as a proportion of household income on poor than on rich households. This is one of several major barriers to the adoption of effective mitigation policies. They would also have considerable social justice implications requiring significant welfare state responses. We assess the claim that climate change policies have regressive effects by comparing different types of mitigation policies. We will argue that many of these are indeed likely to have regressive distributional implications but that there are several policy options to counteract regressive effects.
Article
In view of the controversial policy debate on “green” growth and corresponding stimulus packages we empirically investigate the production effects of environmental investment as well as of environmental and energy expenditures. Using a panel dataset of German manufacturing sectors our econometric analysis identifies a positive impact of environmental investment on production growth. In contrast, our estimation results cannot support the hypothesis of positive production impacts induced by environmental or energy expenditures. We thus conclude that environmental regulation should in particular stimulate environmental investment in order to be compatible with the pursuit of production growth.
Article
Experience with implementation of CO ² taxes spans almost a decade in the Nordic countries, and time is ripe for an evaluation of their performance. In contrast to ex-ante forecasts, empirical research can show the extent to which such taxes deliver on the assumptions of economic theory. A survey of the existing literature shows that there are currently 20 ex-post studies of the full or partial effects of CO ² taxes. Evaluations are complicated by frequent changes in tax rates, widespread exemptions and the ‘too many variables’ problem. Attempts have been made to deal with these problems by using a variety of approaches and research techniques, some more advanced than others. On balance the studies appear to show that emissions have been curbed when compared to businessas-usual forecasts, while absolute CO ² reduction remains the exception. Among the Nordic countries, Denmark's scheme, which combines taxes with subsidies for energy efficiency, seems to have attained the most marked results, although the achieved reductions also reflect the higher carbon content of the Danish energy sector. The evaluations differ considerably in scope, approach and methodology. Methodological issues connected with expost evaluation are considered. An adequate evaluation of the impact of the CO ² taxes, in both environmental and economic terms, will require the establishment of comprehensive panel databases of energy consumers.
Article
Our study analyzes how political context, embodied by the welfare state and Leftist political actors, shapes individual poverty. Using the Luxembourg Income Study, we conduct a multi-level analysis of working-aged adult poverty across 18 affluent Western democracies. Our index of welfare generosity has a negative effect on poverty net of individual characteristics and structural context. For each standard deviation increase in welfare generosity, the odds of poverty decline by a factor of 2.3. The odds of poverty in the United States (the least generous welfare state) are greater by a factor of 16.6 than a person with identical characteristics in Denmark (the most generous welfare state). Significant interaction effects suggest that welfare generosity reduces the extent to which low education and the number of children increase poverty. Also, welfare generosity reduces poverty among those with low education, single-mother households and young households. We show that Leftist parties and union density reduce the odds of poverty, however their effects channel through the welfare state. Ultimately, poverty is shaped both by individual characteristics and the political context in which the individual resides.
Article
Denmark is a windy, low-lying country with a very long coastline where global warming, rising sea levels and renewable energy are serious national issues. Renewable energy in Denmark is primarily wind power, a traditional and popular energy source. Until 2001, Danish energy policy was largely synonymous with environmental policy, based on a broad popular and political consensus. A European Commission survey published in January 2007 showed 93% of the population supported renewable energy sources (EWEA News Release 2007). However, political developments since 2001 have created a crisis for Danish wind power (see Toke 2002). This period has also seen greater interaction between domestic and international forces.
Article
The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
Article
We develop a climate–economy model with generational heterogeneity and with the potential for climate‐policy‐induced technological change. We use the model to assess the distributional implications of climate policies that recycle generated revenues to finance research and development in the energy sector. We show that while the investments of climate‐policy rents that are used to accelerate innovation are likely to be welfare‐improving, as long as significant market failures exist, they are also likely to exacerbate the distributional inequities created across generations by climate‐change policies.
Article
Objective. We offer an alternative to the conventional measure of government redistribution that seeks to address problems of second-order effects whereby income guarantees arising from public pensions make it less necessary for people to save for their retirement, rendering the “pregovernment” counterfactual to the observed postgovernment distribution unrealistic. Method. We use household-level data from the Luxembourg Income Study to calculate an alternative measure of government redistribution that includes public-sector pensions in “pregovernment” income alongside private-sector pensions, on the assumption that each represents a claim on future income. Results. Employing the alternative method described in the article results in lower values for redistribution than the conventional measure. Conclusion. We suggest that our alternative method be used in addition to the conventional method in cross-national research, in an effort to achieve a more complete understanding of government redistribution in the developed countries.
Article
Measures taken to protect the environment often have other, unintended effects on society. One concern is that changed behavior may offset part of the environmental gain, something that has variously been labeled “take-back” or “rebound.” In energy economics, the rebound effect encompasses both the behavioral and systems responses to cost reductions of energy services as a result of energy efficiency measures. From an industrial ecology perspective, we are concerned about more than just energy use. Any given efficiency measure has several types of environmental impacts. Changes in the various impact indicators are not necessarily in the same direction. Both co-benefits and negative side effects of measures directed to solve one type of problem have been identified. Environment is often a free input, so that a price-based rebound effect is not expected, but other indirect effects not connected to the price, such as spillover of environmental behavior, also occur. If the costs and impact of products that are already environmentally friendly are reduced, the “rebound” can be in the opposite, desired direction. Furthermore, I identify technical spillover effects. Hence a number of related effects, often producing positive results, are not as well understood. Household environmental impact assessments and eco-efficiency assessments take into account the rebound effect, but they do not necessarily take into account these other effects. The analysis hence indicates that the current focus on the rebound effect is too narrow and needs to be extended to cover co-benefits, negative side effects, and spillover effects.
Article
This paper surveys pressing issues facing current and future social policies in the European Union (EU) at the juncture of social justice demands and environmental concerns. European policy-makers have in fact only recently acknowledged the notions of environmental justice and environmental inequalities, which have been part of the US policy arsenal for almost two decades. Yet, challenges to equality and fairness in the environmental domain are many and growing within the European Union. After having defined environmental justice and environmental inequalities in the European context, the paper addresses two contemporary dimensions of those challenges for EU social policies: vulnerability and exposure to environmental disaster and risk; and fairness in environmental taxation and the related issue of fuel poverty.
Article
Residential buildings strongly contribute to global CO2 emissions due to the high energy demand for electricity and heating, particularly in industrialised countries. Within the EU, decentralised heat generation is of particular relevance for future climate policy, as its emissions are not covered by the EU ETS. We conducted a choice experiment concerning energy retrofits for existing houses in Germany. In the experiment, the approximately 400 sampled house owners could either choose a modern heating system or an improved thermal insulation for their home. We used standard and mixed logit specifications to analyse the choice data. We found environmental benefits to have a significant impact on choices of heating systems. However, they played no role in terms of insulation choices. Based on the estimated mixed logit model, we further obtained willingness-to-pay (WTP) measures for CO2 savings.
Article
Buildings account for almost half of UK carbon dioxide emissions, and energy demand in buildings continues to grow. In the context of economic growth, population growth, increasing demand for homes and commercial floor space, and increasing demand for energy services, energy use and probably carbon emissions look set to continue to increase unless there is significant change. This paper outlines enabling technologies that may permit a step-change reduction in energy demand from buildings through the application of next-generation information metering and control, energy-efficiency products and microgeneration. It covers both residential and non-residential buildings. This wide approach has been adopted because technologies and trends tend to migrate from one building sector to another, as, for example, IT has moved from offices into homes and lighting trends from offices and retail into homes. It covers technologies that can be used in new build or major refurbishment. Much of the need for change involves the better use of known technology, and some involves changing behaviour. Some behaviour depends on new technologies such as metering. Understanding how technological innovations are taken up (e.g. stock turnover issues, as well as how technical change occurs) and the economics of new technologies is as important as the technologies themselves.
Article
Variation in household CO2 emissions between and within countries may have important consequences for the equity dimension of climate policies. In this study we aim to identify some determinants of national household CO2 emissions and their distribution across income groups. For that purpose, we quantify the CO2 emissions of households in the Netherlands, UK, Sweden and Norway around the year 2000 by combining a hybrid approach of process analysis and input–output analysis with data on household expenditures. Our results show that average households in the Netherlands and the UK give rise to higher amounts of CO2 emissions than households in Sweden and Norway. Moreover, CO2 emission intensities of household consumption decrease with increasing income in the Netherlands and the UK, whereas they increase in Sweden and Norway. A comparison of the national results at the product level points out that country characteristics, like energy supply, population density and the availability of district heating, influence variation in household CO2 emissions between and within countries.
Article
The projected growth in households in the UK is a key factor in future domestic energy consumption, particularly electricity consumption. While every household needs a home and its heating, lighting and appliances, increasing incomes have historically led to significantly higher appliance ownership, higher expectations of levels of energy service and greater usage. In the past this trend was combined with increasing household numbers to drive growth in domestic electricity demand. Official projections for population growth and household composition indicate significant drivers for future growth in energy demand. Curbing this will require policies to reverse the tendency for energy–efficiency improvements to be overwhelmed by growing numbers of households, more widespread appliance ownership and increased service expectations.
Article
A warm and adequately-lit home is considered a basic need, together with access to energy-consuming appliances ranging from a fridge to a TV. An underlying tenet of sustainable energy is that such basic needs should be affordably met.Yet low incomes, energy-inefficient housing and appliances and high energy costs mean that roughly 10 per cent of UK households, many of them elderly or with young children, fail to attain this basic standard. These households, which would need to spend more than 10 per cent of their income to attain adequate energy services, are officially defined as ‘fuel poor’.Their cold, poorly equipped homes lead to chronic cold-related health conditions, exacerbate social isolation, and may undermine educational achievement. In addition, rural areas have a disproportionately high incidence of fuel poverty.This Review examines the current distribution of energy consumption, its social impacts, and the opportunities to address fuel poverty through improvements to the housing stock. It will then consider potential future developments.
Article
Social, financial, energy and technical data from about 1110 households have been collected during 2004 in the major Athens area. The sample has been divided in seven income groups and a detailed analysis has been performed. Important conclusions have been drawn regarding the quality of households, the operational conditions and the energy spent per income group. Low income people are more likely to be living in old buildings with poor envelope conditions. The cost per person and unit area is much higher for the low income group for both heating and electricity. Fuel poverty is quite high, especially when the actual oil prices are considered.
Article
This paper describes benefits attributable to state-level energy efficiency programs. Nationwide, state-level energy efficiency programs have targeted all sectors of the economy and have employed a wide range of methods to promote energy efficiency. Standard residential and industrial programs typically identify between 20% and 30% energy savings in homes and plants, respectively. Over a 20-year period of time, an average state that aggressively pursues even a limited array of energy efficiency programs can potentially reduce total state energy use by as much as 20%. Well-designed energy efficiency programs can be expected to help overcome numerous barriers to the market penetration of energy efficient technologies and accelerate the market penetration of the technologies. Energy efficiency programs are cost-effective; typical benefit–cost ratios exceed 3:1 and are much higher when non-energy and macroeconomic benefits are included. Indeed, energy efficiency and associated programs and investments can create significant numbers of new jobs and enhance state tax revenues. Several states have incorporated energy efficiency into their economic development programs. It should also be noted that increasing amounts of venture capital are being invested in the energy sector in general and in specific technologies like solar power in particular.
Article
This paper considers the possible links between the development of decentralised or distributed energy systems and the problem of fuel poverty in the UK. The discussion takes on board that decentralised energy systems can take many different forms, in the range of potential technologies that can be used for the local microgeneration of electricity and heat and in the range of ways in which the installation, ownership, operation, networking and maintenance of these technologies can be organised [Walker, G., Cass, N., 2007. Carbon reduction, ‘the public’ and renewable energy: engaging with sociotechnical configurations. Area 39(4), 458–469; Watson, J., Sauter, R., Bahaj, B., James, A., Myers, L., Wing, R., 2006. Unlocking the Power House: Policy and System Change for Domestic Microgeneration in the UK. SPRU, Brighton]. The focus is on housing and, in particular, on those forms of housing occupied by social groups vulnerable to fuel poverty. Both potential negative links (or risks) and positive links between decentralised generation and fuel poverty are considered. As this is a new area, there is comparatively little literature to draw on and there are significant gaps in knowledge, so some of the discussion is necessarily rather speculative.