Effects of Construction Activities on Residential Electricity Consumption: Evidence from Singapore's Public Housing Estates
37 Pages Posted: 25 Dec 2013 Last revised: 24 Nov 2015
Date Written: November 24, 2015
This study aims to empirically test the effects of negative environmental externalities (i.e. noise pollution) due to construction activities within half to one kilometer (km) radius and how households react to such externalities by increasing the use of air-conditioners to mitigate noise from the construction work. We use a unique dataset of electricity consumption by public housing residents in Singapore measured at the building level and merge it with the dataset of construction sites for the periods from 2009 to 2011. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we find that electricity consumption by the households living close to the construction sites increases by 6% compared to the households who are not affected by noises from construction sites during the construction periods, after controlling for building and month of the year fixed effects. The results remain robust after controlling for spatial autocorrelated lag and error terms. The economic cost of the construction externalities for each household amounts to approximately S$98 per annum. We also find that the increases in electricity consumption of the affected households were persistent, and the electricity consumption of the affected households did not revert to the pre-construction levels, after the removal of the negative externality.
Keywords: Electricity Consumption, Negative Externalities, Construction Activities, Public Housing, Demand for Comfort
JEL Classification: D10, Q40, R10
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