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Title: Energy efficiency choice in the purchase of residential appliances

Abstract

This paper provides a quantitative analysis of the behavior of the market for the purchase of energy efficiency in residential appliances and heating and cooling equipment. We examine the historical efficiency choices over the period 1972 to 1980 for eight consumer products: gas central space heaters, oil central space heaters, room air conditioners, central air conditioners, electric water heaters, gas water heaters, refrigerators, and freezers. We characterize the behavior of the market for these products by an aggregate market discount rate. Except for air conditioners, the observed discount rates are much higher than real interest rates or the discount rates commonly used in life-cycle cost analysis of consumer choice. They appear to be relatively constant, even though fuel prices escalated rapidly over the time period. We conclude from these results that the market for energy efficiency is not performing well. Several explanations of the under investment in efficiency are proposed: (1) lack of information about the costs and benefits of energy efficiency; (2) prevalence of third party purchasers; (3) unavailability of highly efficient equipment without other features; (4) long manufacturing lead times; and (5) other marketing strategies.

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley Lab., CA (USA)
OSTI Identifier:
6553581
Report Number(s):
LBL-17889; CONF-840819-9
ON: DE84016885
DOE Contract Number:  
AC03-76SF00098
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Doing better: setting an agenda for the second decade, Santa Cruz, CA, USA, 14 Aug 1984
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; APPLIANCES; ENERGY EFFICIENCY; MARKET; COOLING SYSTEMS; HEATING SYSTEMS; BEHAVIOR; HUMAN FACTORS; LIFE-CYCLE COST; RESIDENTIAL SECTOR; COST; EFFICIENCY; ENERGY SYSTEMS; 320101* - Energy Conservation, Consumption, & Utilization- Residential Buildings- (-1987); 320900 - Energy Conservation, Consumption, & Utilization- Education & Public Relations- (1980-)

Citation Formats

Ruderman, H, Levine, M D, and McMahon, J E. Energy efficiency choice in the purchase of residential appliances. United States: N. p., 1984. Web.
Ruderman, H, Levine, M D, & McMahon, J E. Energy efficiency choice in the purchase of residential appliances. United States.
Ruderman, H, Levine, M D, and McMahon, J E. 1984. "Energy efficiency choice in the purchase of residential appliances". United States.
@article{osti_6553581,
title = {Energy efficiency choice in the purchase of residential appliances},
author = {Ruderman, H and Levine, M D and McMahon, J E},
abstractNote = {This paper provides a quantitative analysis of the behavior of the market for the purchase of energy efficiency in residential appliances and heating and cooling equipment. We examine the historical efficiency choices over the period 1972 to 1980 for eight consumer products: gas central space heaters, oil central space heaters, room air conditioners, central air conditioners, electric water heaters, gas water heaters, refrigerators, and freezers. We characterize the behavior of the market for these products by an aggregate market discount rate. Except for air conditioners, the observed discount rates are much higher than real interest rates or the discount rates commonly used in life-cycle cost analysis of consumer choice. They appear to be relatively constant, even though fuel prices escalated rapidly over the time period. We conclude from these results that the market for energy efficiency is not performing well. Several explanations of the under investment in efficiency are proposed: (1) lack of information about the costs and benefits of energy efficiency; (2) prevalence of third party purchasers; (3) unavailability of highly efficient equipment without other features; (4) long manufacturing lead times; and (5) other marketing strategies.},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/6553581}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1984},
month = {7}
}

Conference:
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