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  • Q5  (6)
  • D80  (4)
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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: In this paper we estimate the long- and short-run price elasticities of residential electricity consumption in Switzerland from a household survey by constructing an index of the stock of household appliances as well as by using energy services. We create the index by aggregating the information on the major household appliances. The index is used to estimate the impact of appliances on residential electricity demand. Furthermore, we also use energy services to estimate the electricity demand. We adopt an instrumental variables approach to obtain consistent estimates of the price elasticity to account for potential endogeneity concerns with the average price as well as the appliance index. Our results suggest that the price elasticity is around -0.6. We conclude that Swiss households are price inelastic in electricity prices. This can be used for policy makers as well as by utility companies to design pricing instruments to modify electricity consumption. We also find that estimates of the electricity demand when we substitute the usual residential characteristics with energy services are quite comparable.
    Keywords: D ; D1 ; Q ; Q4 ; Q5 ; ddc:330 ; Residential electricity ; appliance stock index ; energy services ; instrumental variables
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:workingPaper
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  • 2
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    Zurich: ETH Zurich, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: Energy efficiency policy is seen as a very important activity by almost all policy makers. In practical energy policy analysis, the typical indicator used as a proxy for energy efficiency is energy intensity. However, this simple indicator is not necessarily an accurate measure given changes in energy intensity are a function of changes in several factors as well as ‘true’ energy efficiency; hence, it is difficult to make conclusions for energy policy based upon simple energy intensity measures. Related to this, some published academic papers over the last few years have attempted to use empirical methods to measure the efficient use of energy based on the economic theory of production. However, these studies do not generally provide a systematic discussion of the theoretical basis nor the possible parametric empirical approaches that are available for estimating the level of energy efficiency. The objective of this paper, therefore, is to sketch out and explain from an economic perspective the theoretical framework as well as the empirical methods for measuring the level of energy efficiency. Additionally, in the second part of the paper, some of the empirical studies that have attempted to measure the energy efficiency using such an economics approach are summarised and discussed.
    Keywords: D ; D2 ; Q ; Q4 ; Q5 ; ddc:330 ; economic foundations of energy efficiency ; energy demand ; stochastic frontier analysis
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:workingPaper
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  • 3
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    Zurich: ETH Zurich, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: China is one of the largest consumers of energy globally. The country also emits some of the highest levels of CO2 globally. In 2009, 18% of the world’s total energy was consumed in China and the growth rate of energy consumption in China is 6.4% per year. In recent years, the Chinese government decided to introduce several energy policy instruments to promote energy efficiency. For instance, reduction targets for the level of energy intensity have been defined for provinces in China. However, energy intensity is not an accurate proxy for energy efficiency because changes in energy intensity are a function of changes in several socioeconomic factors. For this reason, in this paper we present an empirical analysis on the measurement of the persistent and transient “underlying energy efficiency” of Chinese provinces. For this purpose, a log-log aggregate energy demand frontier model is estimated by employing data on 29 provinces observed over the period 1996 to 2008. Several econometric model specifications for panel data are used: the random effects model and the true random effects model along with other versions of these models. Our analysis shows that energy intensity cannot measure accurately the level of efficiency in the use of energy in Chinese provinces. Further, our empirical analysis shows that the average value of the persistent “underlying energy efficiency” is around 0.78 whereas the average value of the transient “underlying energy efficiency” is approximately 0.93.
    Keywords: D ; D2 ; Q ; Q4 ; Q5 ; ddc:330 ; Chinese energy demand ; Stochastic frontier analysis: Underlying energy efficiency ; Energy intensity
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 4
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    Zurich: ETH Zurich, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: The promotion of US energy efficiency policy is seen as a very important activity by the Energy Information Agency (EIA). Generally, the level of energy efficiency of a state is approximated by energy intensity, commonly calculated as the ratio of energy use to GDP. However, energy intensity is not an accurate proxy for energy efficiency, because changes in energy intensity are a function of changes in several factors including the structure of the economy, climate, efficiency in the use of resources and technical change. The aim of this paper is to measure the ‘underlying energy efficiency’ for the whole economy of 49 ‘states’ in the US using a stochastic frontier energy demand approach. A total US energy demand frontier function is estimated using panel data for 49 ‘states’ over the period 1995 to 2009 using several panel data models: the pooled model; the random effects model; true fixed effects model; the true random effects model; and the Mundlak versions of the pooled and random effects models. The analysis confirms that energy intensity is not a good indicator of energy efficiency; whereas, by controlling for a range of economic and other factors, the measure of ‘underlying energy efficiency’ obtained via the approach adopted here (based on the microeconomic theory of production) is.
    Keywords: D ; D2 ; Q ; Q4 ; Q5 ; ddc:330 ; US total energy demand ; efficiency and frontier analysis ; state energy efficiency
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: In this paper, we measure the energy efficiency in residential energy consumption using a panel dataset comprised of 40,246 observations from US households observed over 1997-2009. We fit a stochastic frontier model of the minimum input of energy needed to meet the level of energy services demanded by the household. This benchmarking exercise produces a transient and a persistent efficiency index for each household and each time period. We estimate that the US residential sector could save approximately 10% of its total energy consumption if it reduced persistent inefficiencies and 17% if it was able to eliminate transient inefficiencies. These figures are in line with the assessment by McKinsey (2008, 2009, 2013) and greater than those indicated by the Electric Power Research Institute (2009). They suggest that savings in energy use and associated emissions of greenhouse gases (and other pollutants) may benefit from both policy measures that attain short-run behavioral changes (e.g., nudges, social norms, display of real-time information about usage, and real-time pricing) as well measures aimed at the long run, such as energy-efficiency regulations, incentives on the purchase of high-efficiency equipment and incentives towards a change of habits in the use of the equipment.
    Keywords: D ; D2 ; Q ; Q4 ; Q5 ; ddc:330 ; US residential energy demand ; efficiency and frontier analysis ; Household data ; CO2 emissions reductions
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: This paper estimates the level of transient and persistent efficiency in the use of electricity in Swiss households using the generalized true random effects model (GTREM). A panel dataset of 1, 994 Swiss households from 2010 to 2014 collected via a household survey is used to estimate an electricity demand frontier function. We further investigate whether energy and investment literacy have an influence on the household electricity consumption. The results show significant inefficiencies in the use of electricity among Swiss households, both transient (11%) and persistent (22%). We note that the high persistent inefficiency is indicative of structural problems faced by households and systematic behavioral shortcomings in residential electricity consumption. These results indicate a considerable potential for electricity savings and thus reaching the reduction targets defined by the Swiss federal council as part of the Energy Strategy 2050, wherein end-use efficiency improvement is one of the main pillars. The results support a positive role of energy and, in particular, investment literacy in reducing household electricity consumption. Policies targeting an improvement of these attributes could help to improve efficiency in the use of energy within households.
    Keywords: D12 ; D13 ; D80 ; Q41 ; Q48 ; ddc:330 ; Stochastic frontier analysis ; Transient and persistent efficiency ; Energy literacy ; Investment literacy ; Energy saving behaviour ; Residential electricity demand ; Household data
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: There is evidence that many individuals make sub-optimal investment decisions when the benefits and costs associated with that decision are distributed over time. One example is the decision to adopt new electrical appliances, with the benefits of choosing a more energy efficient device materializing only in the future. This paper analyses the impact of the level of an individual’s energy-related investment literacy on the adoption of energy-efficient appliances. Moreover, the empirical analysis explores the impact of decision support tools such as educational slides on the probability that individuals identify the appliance with the lowest lifetime cost, which is ideally also the most energy-efficient appliance. To test the influence of these decision support tools, we developed an online randomized controlled trial and implemented it on two independently chosen samples of the Swiss population. One treatment offers a short education program on how to calculate the lifetime cost of an appliance – via a set of information slides. The second intervention provides access to an online calculator that supports the investment decision-making of the individual. Results across the two samples are encouraging. We find that i) pre-treatment energy and investment literacy positively impact on the probability of identifying the appliance with the lowest lifetime cost; ii) the reinforcement of energy-related investment literacy increases the rate at which individuals identify the appliance with the lowest lifetime cost; and iii) while both interventions are effective in increasing the chances that an appliance with the lower lifetime cost is chosen, the online calculator turned out to be more effective than the educational program. Public policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: D12 ; D80 ; Q41 ; Q48 ; ddc:330 ; energy-efficient appliances ; energy-related investment literacy ; appliance choice ; bounded rationality ; educational programs ; online tool
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: It is an ongoing debate how to increase the adoption of energy-efficient light bulbs and household appliances in the presence of the so-called ’energy efficiency gap’. One measure to support consumers’ decision-making towards the purchase of more efficient appliances is the display of energy-related information in the form of energy-efficiency labels on electric consumer products. Another measure is to educate the consumers in order to increase their level of energy and investment literacy. Thus, two questions arise when it comes to the display of energy-related information on appliances: (1) What kind of information should be displayed to enable consumers to make rational and efficient choices? (2) What abilities and prior knowledge do consumers need to have to be able to process this information? In this paper, using a series of recursive bivariate probit models and three samples of 583, 877 and 1, 375 Swiss households from three major Swiss urban areas, we show how displaying information on the future energy consumption of electrical appliances in monetary terms, i.e. as an estimate of yearly energy cost (CHF) rather than in physical units (kWh), increases the probability that an individual performs an investment analysis and hence chooses the most (cost-)efficient appliance. In addition, our econometric results suggest that individuals with a higher level of energy and, in particular, investment literacy are more likely to perform an optimization rather than relying on a decision-making heuristic and are more likely to identify the most (cost-)efficient appliance.
    Keywords: D12 ; D80 ; Q41 ; Q48 ; ddc:330 ; energy-efficiency ; bounded rationality ; energy-using durables ; information ; energy label ; energy literacy ; choice experiment ; Energieeinsparung ; Lampe ; Umweltzeichen ; Konsumentenverhalten ; Begrenzte Rationalität ; Probit-Modell ; Ballungsraum ; Schweiz
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: Many countries have adopted policies designed to reduce CO2 emissions from road vehicles. Taxes linked to the CO2 emissions rate or the fuel economy of a vehicle (which is inversely related to its CO2 emissions rate) are examples of such policies. These taxes are usually imposed on new vehicles, and previous evaluations have estimated the increases in the shares or sales of new and fuel-efficient vehicles associated with such taxes. In contrast, we ask whether taxes on new cars that penalize high emitters induce changes in the retirement of used and inefficient vehicles. We exploit natural experiment conditions in Switzerland to analyze the impact of two different “bonus”/“malus” schemes implemented at the cantonal level. In both schemes, the bonus rewards new efficient vehicles. The malus is retroactive in canton Obwalden, in the sense that it is charged on both new and existing high-emitting cars, but it is only applied prospectively to new cars in Geneva. We use a difference-in-difference design within a survival analysis setting. We find that a bonus/malus accelerates the retirement of existing high-emitting vehicles in Obwalden, shortening the expected lifetime of the three most popular make-models by 7 to 11 months. The effect is the opposite in Geneva, where we estimate that the expected lifetime of these three popular models is extended by 5 to 8 months. These findings have important implications about the desirability of bonus/malus schemes and on their design, as well as on old car scrappage programs.
    Keywords: L62 ; Q4 ; Q5 ; ddc:330 ; Vehicle retirement ; Emissions-based taxes ; bonus/malus ; difference-in-difference ; survival analysis ; Switzerland ; Kraftfahrzeug ; Technische Effizienz ; Nachfrage ; Ökosteuer ; Anreiz ; Steuerwirkung ; Konsumentenverhalten ; Statistische Bestandsanalyse ; Obwalden ; Genf ; Schweiz
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019-11-30
    Description: Bounded rationality is an example of an important behavioral failure responsible for the energy-efficiency gap, whereby agents under-invest in energy-efficient technologies. One means of addressing this is by improving the energy-related financial literacy of households, which is defined as the combination of energy knowledge and cognitive abilities that are needed in order for agents to take sound decisions with respect to investment in durables. This has been found to improve the ability of agents to calculate the lifetime costs of technologies. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the determinants of energy-related financial literacy of respondents from about 2000 urban households in the Terai region of Nepal, and to analyze whether this ability has an effect on replacement attitudes of households regarding inefficient technologies. Using a novel household survey data, we find that respondents have low levels of energy-related financial literacy. While we find differences in the role of some socio-economic determinants of energy-related financial literacy compared to previous studies from developed countries, we also find certain common results, such as female respondents having lower scores. Additionally, we find that higher levels of energy-related financial literacy, especially stronger computational abilities, lead to more rational attitudes with regards to replacement of old appliances. As development has brought, and continues to bring, more households in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) closer to technologies of their liking, ensuring the adoption of energy-efficient technologies may be critical for ensuring sustainable development in the decades to come, and higher energy-related financial literacy may be one means of achieving that.
    Keywords: D12 ; D80 ; Q41 ; Q48 ; ddc:330 ; Bounded rationality ; Energy literacy ; Financial literacy ; Households ; Nepal
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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