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Energy and Emissions in the Building Sector: A Comparison of Three Policies and Their Combinations

Standards, subsidies, and carbon taxes are among the measures often considered to reduce energy consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the buildings sector. Using a modeling system developed by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, residential and commercial sector standards and subsidies were each modeled with and without a carbon tax to determine if a multi-policy approach would be redundant. A separate case examining a carbon tax was also completed for comparison. Between the two equipment-based policies, subsidies achieved more energy and CO2 emissions reductions at less cost to consumers, as incremental investment costs were shifted to the government. When either of the equipment-based policies was combined with a carbon tax, their energy-and carbon-reducing effects were more additive than redundant.

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Energy Specializations: Energy Modeling – Energy Data, Modeling, and Policy Analysis; Energy and the Environment – Climate Change and Greenhouse Gases; Energy and the Environment – Air Emissions (other than greenhouse gases); Energy and the Environment – Policy and Regulation

JEL Codes:
E61 - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
Q54 - Climate; Natural Disasters and Their Management; Global Warming
Q52 - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol32-SI1-3

Published in Volume 32, Special Issue of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.