"Rebound" effects from increased energy efficiency : a time to pause and reflect

Turner, Karen (2013) "Rebound" effects from increased energy efficiency : a time to pause and reflect. The Energy Journal, 34 (4). pp. 25-42. ISSN 1944-9089

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    The phenomenon of rebound effects has sparked considerable academic, policy and press debate over the effectiveness of energy efficiency policy in recent years. There has been a huge surge in empirical studies claiming rebound effects of hugely varying magnitudes. The contention of this paper is that the lack of consensus in the literature is grounded in a rush to empirical estimation in the absence of solid analytical foundations. Focus on measuring a single ‘rebound’ measure has led to a neglect of detail on precisely what type of change in energy use is considered in any one study and on the range of mechanisms governing the economy-wide response. This paper attempts to bring a reflective pause to the development of the rebound literature, with a view to identifying the key issues that policymakers need to understand and analysts need to focus their attention on.