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Quantifying the Distributional Impact of Energy Efficiency Measures

The distributional impact of the low-carbon transition is an increasingly important topic both for academics and policymakers. Quantifying where the costs and benefits fall can provide greater insight into the equity and cost-effectiveness of government policies, and improve our understanding of household investment decisions. This paper provides new evidence on the distribution of returns from energy efficiency measures both over time and across household-type. A range of econometric techniques are applied to a database of over four million households over an eight year period to quantify heterogeneity, persistence and how these factors impact the relative cost-effectiveness of measures. Results suggest that more deprived households experience lower energy savings, the difference persists over time, and that significantly heterogeneity may be present across levels of deprivation and income deciles that can not be explained by differences in baseline consumption. Measures have been largely cost-effective but savings are much lower than previous policy evaluations using ex-ante estimates would suggest.

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Keywords: Energy efficiency, Distributional impacts, Panel data econometrics

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.42.6.dmcc

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Published in Volume 42, Number 6 of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


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