Rebound Effect Reduces the Impact of Adding Home Insulation

URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140988322005643

Researchers in the U.K. found that, while adding home insulation initially lowered gas consumption, a rebound effect and/or concurrent renovations reduced these energy savings dramatically over time. For some groups there were no savings. "Home insulation alone is not a magic bullet."


Researchers in the U.K. analysed gas consumption patterns of more than 55,000 dwellings over twelve years (2005-2017). Using a staggered differences-in-differences approach with dynamic treatment effects, they analysed changes in residential gas consumption five years before and after the adoption of energy efficiency measures. The analysis includes energy efficiency interventions involving the installation of new heating-related insulation equipment - i.e., of loft insulation and cavity walls, supported by energy efficiency programmes in England and Wales between 2005 and 2017 - using a panel of 55,154 households from the National Energy Efficiency Data-Framework (NEED). The authors controlled for, among other factors, energy prices and the extent to which gas consumption changes were dependent on household characteristics and variations in weather conditions. Their results indicate that the adoption of EE measures was associated with significant reductions in household residential gas consumption one year after their implementation. However, the effect did not last in the long run and energy savings disappeared four years after the retrofitting of cavity wall insulation measures and after two years following the installation of loft insulation. The disappearance of energy savings in the longer run could be explained by the energy performance gap, the rebound effect and/or by concurrent residential construction projects and renovations associated with increases in energy consumption. Notably, for households in deprived areas, the installation of these efficiency measures does not deliver energy savings. These results confirm the existence of effects that reduce the energy savings from the adoption of these efficiency technologies over time and indicate that, for some groups, these net savings do not seem to materialize.

Topics: Environment:, Climate change mitigation, Energy efficiency
Location: UK - England
Resource Type: strategies and interventions
Publisher: Energy Economics
Date Last Updated: 2023-03-15 16:17:49

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