Rebound Effects in German Residential Heating: Do Ownership and Income Matter?

FCN Working Paper No. 2/2011

31 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2011

Date Written: February 2011


In this paper, by using panel data and a fixed effects model, we estimate the direct rebound effect related to space heating in German residential households. The data used are from a representative repeated survey among some 11,000 households in Germany provided by the German Institute of Economic Research (DIW Berlin). We find that for the size of the direct rebound effect, i.e. the amount of energy consumption “taken back” when energy efficiency rises, income and ownership matter significantly. The estimated rebound effects for the different household groups range between 12% for owners (income class “all”) and 49% for tenants (income class “low”). Tenants are found to have much higher rebound effects. Higher income owner households have a slightly higher rebound than lower income households (14% vs. 13%), whereas for tenant households the outcome is reversed (31% vs. 49%). We conclude that energy rebound effects in the residential sector should be tackled in energy policy making in a differentiated way, and certainly not ignored in energy efficiency policies.

Keywords: Rebound effect, SOEP panel, fixed effects, energy efficiency

JEL Classification: D12, Q41

Suggested Citation

Madlener, Reinhard and Hauertmann, Maximilian, Rebound Effects in German Residential Heating: Do Ownership and Income Matter? (February 2011). FCN Working Paper No. 2/2011 . Available at SSRN: or

Reinhard Madlener (Contact Author)

RWTH Aachen University ( email )

School of Business and Economics / E.ON ERC
Mathieustraße 10
Aachen, 52074
+49 241 80 49 820 (Phone)
+49 241 80 49 829 (Fax)


Maximilian Hauertmann

RWTH Aachen University ( email )

Templergraben 55
52056 Aachen, 52056

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