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Economic Efficiency, Environmental Effectiveness and Political Feasibility of Energy Efficiency Rebates: The Case of the Spanish Energy Efficiency Renove Plan

Keywords: Energy efficiency rebates, deadweight losses, rebound effect

Author(s): Ibon Galarraga, Luis M. Abadie and Alberto Ansuategi

Date: 2013-02-01

Issue: 2013-05

  Download this working paper (440 KB.)



Energy labels are used to promote the purchase of efficient appliances. Many countries in Europe use subsidies (namely energy efficiency rebates) to support these purchases as it is the case of Spain. A figure ranging from 50 to 105€ subsidy has been granted in the past for the acquisition of the most efficient appliances. This paper first analyses the impact of a 80€ subsidy on the dishwasher market and compares the results with a 40 € tax for non-labelled ones. The results take into account the effects that the policies generate in the market segment that is a close substitute, that is, cross effects. The paper shows that the subsidy is expensive for the Government, generates some welfare losses and it also generates a rebound effect as a consequence of the increase in the total number of appliances sold. The 40 € tax does not cost money to the Government, it generates a lower welfare loss and reduces the energy bill. However, the analysis is extended to go beyond the two extreme scenarios: subsidies without taxes and taxes without subsidies. Different combinations of both instruments are suggested and they are assessed based on their performance regarding economic efficiency, environmental effectiveness and political feasibility.

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