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Do Energy Efficiency Investments Deliver? Evidence from the Weatherization Assistance Program
RFF Academic Seminar
Presenter
Meredith Fowlie, Associate Professor
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Berkeley
Abstract
There is a near consensus that energy efficiency investments provide widespread ‘win-win’ opportunities that enable individuals and firms to save money while also reducing externalities associated with energy production. Engineering building simulation models and technology cost estimates provide the foundation for this consensus, but there is very little real world evidence on the performance of energy efficiency investments. We apply experimental and quasi-experimental techniques to detailed data from the nation’s largest residential energy efficiency program, the Federal Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), and find that energy savings from the program are substantially lower than predicted. Additionally, we collected data on indoor temperatures and find that weatherized homes were almost 1° F warmer, which provides some of the first evidence of a rebound effect in the building sector. Although this rebound effect contributes to the difference between predicted and actual energy savings, most of the difference is due to overly optimistic engineering estimates of returns to the energy efficiency investments.
Date
Thursday, May 15, 2014
12:00 - 1:30 p.m. EDT
A light lunch will be provided.
Location
7th Floor Conference Room
All seminars will be in the 7th Floor Conference Room at RFF, 1616 P Street NW unless otherwise noted. Attendance is open, but involves pre-registration no later than two days prior to the event. For questions and to register to an event, please contact Karen Furman at furman@rff.org. Updates to our academic seminars schedule will be posted at www.rff.org/academicseminarseries.
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