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Effectiveness of Building Energy Performance Standards to Curtail Household Energy Demand: A Theoretical Analysis

Vijay K. Mathur

Year: 1984
Volume: Volume 5
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol5-No1-6
View Abstract

Abstract:
The Congress of the United States enacted the Energy Conservation and Production Act in 1976. It was amended in 1977. Title III of this act is designed to implement policies to curtail energy demand associated with new buildings; Title IV is aimed at establishing policies to encourage energy conservation in existing buildings. The main purposes of both Titles are to curtail energy consumption on the part of households as well as commercial buildings. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effectiveness of various policies, which may be followed by the government under this Act, for curtailing the energy use by the households. Although no comprehensive energy policy to meet this goal has yet been formulated, the purpose of the Act gives a clear indication about the type of policy that could eventually emerge. My intention is not only to examine the effectiveness of the policy or policies emerging from the above Titles, but also to compare them with alternate, albeit traditional, policies of pricing, taxes, and subsidies aimed to reduce energy demand.



Long-Run Effects of the Canadian National Energy Agreements

S. L. Schwartz, J. D. Fuller, and W. T. Ziemba

Year: 1985
Volume: Volume 6
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol6-No1-7
View Abstract

Abstract:
For the last decade Canadian energy policy and oil pricing policy have been subjects of heated debate, dividing the country into several interest groups. The debate began when the federal government shielded the Canadian consumer from rapid world oil price increases by freezing domestic wellhead prices and subsidizing oil imports. This created a single price for oil across the entire country (except for transportation cost differences). The subsidy was to be paid by an export tax equivalent to the difference between domestic price and the world price. This policy was seen as an immediate response to a short-term problem: either world prices would return to lower levels or domestic prices could slowly adjust to the higher level without creating a price shock. Once a subsidy is established, however, it is hard to withdraw. Industries and consumers that rely on low-cost oil can be expected to lobby for continued subsidies. By observing real costs, moreover, the Canadian subsidy destroyed incentives to conserve costly fuels (e.g., imported oil). And there was no incentive to increase domestic production of such valuable commodities. By intervening, the federal government appeared to take on the responsibility of maintaining a status quo with respect to regional income distribution. Thus the scene was set.



Impact of Biomass Availability on Selection of Optimal Energy Systems and Cost of Energy

P. R. Shukla and T. K. Moulik

Year: 1986
Volume: Volume 7
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol7-No2-8
View Abstract

Abstract:
This paper assesses the impact of biomass availability on the selection of optimal energy systems, allocation of energy to various energy needs, and cost of energy to villages. Proposals are considered for the development of biomass resources and subsidization of biomass-based energy systems. The analysis applies the Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) optimization model to four villages under existing conditions, as well as under various proposals affecting biomass availability and costs of energy systems using biomass. It is based on a comprehensive study (Moulik and Shukla, 1985) that contains many details beyond the scope of this paper.



The German Coal Market After 1992

Ullrich Heilemann and Bernhard Hillebrand

Year: 1992
Volume: Volume 13
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol13-No3-7
No Abstract



Residential Energy Demand and the Taxation of Housing

William M. Gentry

Year: 1994
Volume: Volume15
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol15-No2-5
View Abstract

Abstract:
This paper examines how the favorable tax treatment of housing capital in the U.S. affects the demand for residential energy. Relative to a tax system that is neutral between different investments, the current taxation of housing lowers the cost of housing capital by 23%. The tax subsidy for housing capital increases the demand for housing services and the concomitant energy demand and creates an incentive for the substitution of capital for energy in the production of housing services. Eliminating this tax subsidy for housing would lower the demand for housing services by 11.8% and residential energy demand by 68%. Alternatively, the same reduction in residential energy demand could be obtained through a 20% tax on residential energy.



The Welfare Effects of Raising Household Energy Prices in Poland

Caroline L. Freund and Christine I. Wallich

Year: 1996
Volume: Volume17
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol17-No1-4
View Abstract

Abstract:
We examine the welfare effects from increasing household energy prices in Poland. Subsidizing household energy prices, common in the transition economies, is shown to be highly regressive. The wealthy spend a larger portion of their income on energy and consume more energy in absolute terms. We therefore rule out the oft-used social welfare argument for delaying household energy price increases. Raising prices, while targeting relief to the poor through a social assistance program is the first-best response. However, if governments want to ease the adjustment, several options are open, including: in-kind transfers to the poor, vouchers, in-cash transfers, and lifeline pricing for electricity. Our simulations show that if raising prices to efficient levels is not politically feasible at present and social assistance targeting is sufficiently weak, it may be socially better to use lifeline pricing and a large price increase than an overall, but smaller, price increase.



Coal Subsidies and Global Carbon Emissions

Miles K. Light

Year: 1999
Volume: Volume20
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol20-No4-5
View Abstract

Abstract:
It has been suggested that eliminating coal production subsidies could substantially reduce global carbon emissions. This paper finds otherwise. Using a dynamic model of the international coal market, the paper investigates the consequences of subsidy elimination in a model incorporating sector specific capital constraints. In the short-run, following elimination of subsidies, producers with excess capacity divert domestic production into the export market, softening price increases. Over time, low cost exporters gain market share from the swing supplier, which further attenuates the market response to subsidy elimination. Given this market structure, production subsidy elimination in Europe and Japan may reduce world steam coal demand by as little as 0.5%, and global CO2 emissions by only 0.2



Household Energy Demand and the Equity and Efficiency Aspects of Subsidy Reform in Indonesia

Susan Olivia and John Gibson

Year: 2008
Volume: Volume 29
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol29-No1-2
View Abstract

Abstract:
The proper design of price interventions in energy markets requires consideration of equity and efficiency effects. In this paper, budget survey data from 29,000 Indonesian households are used to estimate a demand system for five energy sources, which is identified by the spatial variation in unit values (expenditures divided by quantities). We correct for the various quality and measurement error biases that result when unit values are used as proxies for market prices. The price elasticities are combined with tax and subsidy rates to calculate the marginal social cost of price changes for each item. The results suggest that even with high levels of inequality aversion there is a case for reducing the large subsidies on kerosene in Indonesia, supporting the reforms that have been announced recently.



Demand Subsidies Versus R&D: Comparing the Uncertain Impacts of Policy on a Pre-commercial Low-carbon Energy Technology

Gregory F. Nemet and Erin Baker

Year: 2009
Volume: Volume 30
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol30-No4-2
View Abstract

Abstract:
We combine an expert elicitation and a bottom-up manufacturing cost model to compare the effects of R&D and demand subsidies. We model their effects on the future costs of a low-carbon energy technology that is not currently commercially available, purely organic photovoltaics (PV). We find that: (1) successful R&D enables PV to achieve a cost target of 4c/kWh, (2) the cost of PV does not reach the target when only subsidies, and not R&D, are implemented, and (3) production-related effects on technological advance�learning-by-doing and economies of scale�are not as critical to the long-term potential for cost reduction in organic PV than is the investment in and success of R&D. These results are insensitive to two levels of policy intensity, the level of a carbon price, the availability of storage technology, and uncertainty in the main parameters used in the model. However, a case can still be made for subsidies: comparisons of stochastic dominance show that subsidies provide a hedge against failure in the R&D program.



Fuel Subsidies, the Oil Market and the World Economy

Nathan S. Balke, Michael Plante, and Mine Yücel

Year: 2015
Volume: Volume 36
Number: Adelman Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.36.SI1.nbal
View Abstract

Abstract:
This paper studies the effects of oil producing countries' fuel subsidies on the oil market and the world economy. We identify 24 oil-producing countries with fuel subsidies with retail fuel prices that are about 34 percent of the world price. We construct a two-country model where one country represents the oil-exporting subsidizers and the second the oil-importing bloc, and calibrate the model to match recent data. We find that the removal of subsidies would reduce the world price of oil by six percent. The removal of subsidies is unambiguously welfare enhancing for the oil-importing countries. Removal of subsidies is welfare improving for the oil-exporting countries as well, in the baseline calibration. However, the optimal subsidy from the point of view of oil exporters is not zero, in general.




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