rebound effect

Climate Strategies: “One Step at a Time” or “Don’t Jump the Gun”??

In some situations, voluntary efforts leads other people to join in, whereas in others, it encourages them to hold back.  There’s a similar issue about climate mitigation efforts at the national, regional, or state level.  Do these efforts really move the ball forward?  Or are they counterproductive, because other places increase their own carbon emissions …


Rebound Redux

I’ve posted  previously about the rebound effect.  Improving energy efficiency frees up money, which can be used to purchase more of the same product or different products that use energy.  This “rebound” cuts away at the energy savings and correspondingly at the carbon reduction achieved through energy efficiency.  Everyone seems to agree that the rebound …


The Rebound Effect (2)

The rebound effect is a worry in terms of the possible environmental impact of increased energy efficiency.  But how big a worry, and what can be done about it? There is a lot of controversy about this issue, and the evidence seems to be far from crystal clear.  For contrasting views, see these  NRDC and …


The Rebound Effect (Part I)

 The rebound effect involves increases in energy use that are paradoxically caused by increased energy efficiency. This effect actually takes three forms. First, when energy use is more efficient, consumers may actually increase some of their energy-using activities.  For instance, if lighting is very energy efficient, consumers may be less careful about turning off lights …


The “Rebound Effect” Falls Flat

Prompted in part by a recent article in the New Yorker, there’s been a lot of attention to the rebound effect lately.  The theory is that increased energy efficiency in effect makes energy cheaper (as measured in cost per unit of benefit), so people actually consumer more energy.  The empirical evidence is that this is …