Are Prosumer Households that Much Different? Evidence from Stated Residential Energy Consumption in Germany

FCN Working Paper No. 24/2016

32 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2018

See all articles by Christian Oberst

Christian Oberst

German Economic Institute; RWTH Aachen University - E.ON Energy Research Center

Hendrik Schmitz

RWTH Aachen University - Institute for Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN)

Reinhard Madlener

RWTH Aachen University

Date Written: December 1, 2016

Abstract

This paper discusses the effect of residential energy prosuming on households’ energy consumption behavior with the objective to find evidence for a “prosumer rebound effect” on energy consumption. Prosuming is the partial self-consumption of distributed energy production. We hypothesize that prosumer households are systematically different from consumer households regarding their housing situation and socio-economic characteristics. We address sample selection bias by using a quasi-experimental technique called propensity score matching as our identification strategy. We employ data from a nationwide online survey among homeowners in Germany. While the data shows a correlation of lower energy consumption and prosumer households, we find no significant difference of energy consumption behavior between prosumers and non-prosumers when controlling for sample selection bias. Instead, the lower energy consumption of prosumer households is attributed to more energy-efficient technical equipment and thus to purchasing behavior. Our results show neither evidence for negative nor positive externalities of prosuming on residential energy consumption behavior and therefore we conclude that there is no need for additional governmental measures in the form of taxation or subsidies to address behavioral changes of energy prosuming.

Keywords: Prosumer Households, Rebound, Propensity Score Matching, Residential Energy Consumption, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energies

JEL Classification: C14, D12, O33, Q42

Suggested Citation

Oberst, Christian and Schmitz, Hendrik and Madlener, Reinhard, Are Prosumer Households that Much Different? Evidence from Stated Residential Energy Consumption in Germany (December 1, 2016). FCN Working Paper No. 24/2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3143703 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3143703

Christian Oberst (Contact Author)

German Economic Institute ( email )

Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 21
Köln, 50459
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iwkoeln.de/en

RWTH Aachen University - E.ON Energy Research Center ( email )

Mathieustrasse 10
Aachen, 52074
Germany

Hendrik Schmitz

RWTH Aachen University - Institute for Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN) ( email )

Mathieustrasse 6
Aachen, 52074
Germany
+49 241 80 49834 (Phone)
+49 241 80 49829 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.fcn.eonerc.rwth-aachen.de/cms/~dndh/E-ON-ERC-FCN/

Reinhard Madlener

RWTH Aachen University ( email )

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

HOME PAGE: http://www.eonerc.rwth-aachen.de/fcn

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