Turning lights into flights: Estimating direct and indirect rebound effects for UK households

Mona Chitnis, Steve Sorrell, Angela Druckman, Steven K. Firth, Tim Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

118 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Energy efficiency improvements by households lead to rebound effects that offset the potential energy and emissions savings. Direct rebound effects result from increased demand for cheaper energy services, while indirect rebound effects result from increased demand for other goods and services that also require energy to provide. Research to date has focused upon the former, but both are important for climate change. This study estimates the combined direct and indirect rebound effects from seven measures that improve the energy efficiency of UK dwellings. The methodology is based upon estimates of the income elasticity and greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of 16 categories of household goods and services, and allows for the embodied emissions of the energy efficiency measures themselves, as well as the capital cost of the measures. Rebound effects are measured in GHG terms and relate to the adoption of these measures by an average UK household. The study finds that the rebound effects from these measures are typically in the range 5–15% and arise mostly from indirect effects. This is largely because expenditure on gas and electricity is more GHG-intensive than expenditure on other goods and services. However, the anticipated shift towards a low carbon electricity system in the UK may lead to much larger rebound effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-250
Number of pages17
JournalEnergy Policy
Volume55
Early online date31 Dec 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

Fingerprint

Greenhouse gases
Energy efficiency
flight
Electricity
energy efficiency
Potential energy
Climate change
greenhouse gas
Elasticity
expenditure
electricity
Carbon
Gases
household
effect
Costs
potential energy
elasticity
energy
savings

Keywords

  • rebound effect
  • sustainable consumption
  • income effects
  • re-spending

Cite this

Turning lights into flights : Estimating direct and indirect rebound effects for UK households. / Chitnis, Mona; Sorrell, Steve; Druckman, Angela; Firth, Steven K. ; Jackson, Tim .

In: Energy Policy, Vol. 55, 04.2013, p. 234-250.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chitnis, Mona ; Sorrell, Steve ; Druckman, Angela ; Firth, Steven K. ; Jackson, Tim . / Turning lights into flights : Estimating direct and indirect rebound effects for UK households. In: Energy Policy. 2013 ; Vol. 55. pp. 234-250.
@article{e545f6a2cbec4142b02d301729eaaa87,
title = "Turning lights into flights: Estimating direct and indirect rebound effects for UK households",
abstract = "Energy efficiency improvements by households lead to rebound effects that offset the potential energy and emissions savings. Direct rebound effects result from increased demand for cheaper energy services, while indirect rebound effects result from increased demand for other goods and services that also require energy to provide. Research to date has focused upon the former, but both are important for climate change. This study estimates the combined direct and indirect rebound effects from seven measures that improve the energy efficiency of UK dwellings. The methodology is based upon estimates of the income elasticity and greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of 16 categories of household goods and services, and allows for the embodied emissions of the energy efficiency measures themselves, as well as the capital cost of the measures. Rebound effects are measured in GHG terms and relate to the adoption of these measures by an average UK household. The study finds that the rebound effects from these measures are typically in the range 5–15{\%} and arise mostly from indirect effects. This is largely because expenditure on gas and electricity is more GHG-intensive than expenditure on other goods and services. However, the anticipated shift towards a low carbon electricity system in the UK may lead to much larger rebound effects.",
keywords = "rebound effect, sustainable consumption, income effects, re-spending",
author = "Mona Chitnis and Steve Sorrell and Angela Druckman and Firth, {Steven K.} and Tim Jackson",
year = "2013",
month = "4",
doi = "10.1016/j.enpol.2012.12.008",
language = "English",
volume = "55",
pages = "234--250",
journal = "Energy Policy",
issn = "0301-4215",
publisher = "Elsevier BV",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Turning lights into flights

T2 - Estimating direct and indirect rebound effects for UK households

AU - Chitnis, Mona

AU - Sorrell, Steve

AU - Druckman, Angela

AU - Firth, Steven K.

AU - Jackson, Tim

PY - 2013/4

Y1 - 2013/4

N2 - Energy efficiency improvements by households lead to rebound effects that offset the potential energy and emissions savings. Direct rebound effects result from increased demand for cheaper energy services, while indirect rebound effects result from increased demand for other goods and services that also require energy to provide. Research to date has focused upon the former, but both are important for climate change. This study estimates the combined direct and indirect rebound effects from seven measures that improve the energy efficiency of UK dwellings. The methodology is based upon estimates of the income elasticity and greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of 16 categories of household goods and services, and allows for the embodied emissions of the energy efficiency measures themselves, as well as the capital cost of the measures. Rebound effects are measured in GHG terms and relate to the adoption of these measures by an average UK household. The study finds that the rebound effects from these measures are typically in the range 5–15% and arise mostly from indirect effects. This is largely because expenditure on gas and electricity is more GHG-intensive than expenditure on other goods and services. However, the anticipated shift towards a low carbon electricity system in the UK may lead to much larger rebound effects.

AB - Energy efficiency improvements by households lead to rebound effects that offset the potential energy and emissions savings. Direct rebound effects result from increased demand for cheaper energy services, while indirect rebound effects result from increased demand for other goods and services that also require energy to provide. Research to date has focused upon the former, but both are important for climate change. This study estimates the combined direct and indirect rebound effects from seven measures that improve the energy efficiency of UK dwellings. The methodology is based upon estimates of the income elasticity and greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of 16 categories of household goods and services, and allows for the embodied emissions of the energy efficiency measures themselves, as well as the capital cost of the measures. Rebound effects are measured in GHG terms and relate to the adoption of these measures by an average UK household. The study finds that the rebound effects from these measures are typically in the range 5–15% and arise mostly from indirect effects. This is largely because expenditure on gas and electricity is more GHG-intensive than expenditure on other goods and services. However, the anticipated shift towards a low carbon electricity system in the UK may lead to much larger rebound effects.

KW - rebound effect

KW - sustainable consumption

KW - income effects

KW - re-spending

U2 - 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.12.008

DO - 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.12.008

M3 - Article

VL - 55

SP - 234

EP - 250

JO - Energy Policy

JF - Energy Policy

SN - 0301-4215

ER -