Are the Non-Monetary Costs of Energy Efficiency Investments Large? Understanding Low Take-Up of a Free Energy Efficiency Program

10 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2015

See all articles by Meredith Fowlie

Meredith Fowlie

University of California, Berkeley

Michael Greenstone

University of Chicago - Department of Economics; Becker Friedman Institute for Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Catherine D. Wolfram

University of California, Berkeley - Economic Analysis & Policy Group; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: January 22, 2015

Abstract

We document very low take‐up of an energy efficiency program that is widely believed to be privately beneficial. Program participants receive a substantial home “weatherization” retrofit; all installation and equipment costs are covered by the program. Less than one percent of presumptively eligible households take up the program in the control group. This rate increased only modestly after we took extraordinary efforts to inform households -- via multiple channels -- about the sizeable benefits and zero monetary costs. These findings are consistent with high non‐monetary costs associated with program participation and/or energy efficiency investments.

Keywords: energy, technology uptake, energy investment

Suggested Citation

Fowlie, Meredith and Greenstone, Michael and Wolfram, Catherine D., Are the Non-Monetary Costs of Energy Efficiency Investments Large? Understanding Low Take-Up of a Free Energy Efficiency Program (January 22, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2552810 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2552810

Meredith Fowlie

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Michael Greenstone (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Department of Economics

1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Becker Friedman Institute for Economics ( email )

Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Catherine D. Wolfram

University of California, Berkeley - Economic Analysis & Policy Group ( email )

Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
88
rank
272,080
Abstract Views
510
PlumX Metrics