Many studies have empirically examined to what extent energy efficiency improvement causes rebound effects for various products. Energy efficiency improvement potentially induces behavioral changes resulting in a rebound effect. However, a limited number of studies have addressed what kind of behavioral changes the energy efficiency improvement of appliances can cause. For example, the energy efficiency improvement of air conditioners can induce a change in the room temperature setting. This paper examines whether the energy efficiency improvement of air conditioners impedes energy-saving behaviors. Specifically, using a Japanese household survey, we examined the energy-saving behaviors related to air conditioner usage: (1) setting the room temperature at 28 °C or higher in summer, (2) reducing unnecessary power consumption, and (3) cleaning the filters. We found that energy efficiency improvements reduce the probability of the behavior of setting air conditioner temperatures at 28 °C or more by approximately 25–45% during summer, while they have no impacts on the reduction of unnecessary air conditioner usage or filter cleaning. This finding implies that energy efficiency improvements may counteract the energy-saving behaviors of the temperature setting, resulting in a rebound effect. Thus, we clarified a mechanism of the rebound effect in the case of air conditioners.
ASJC Scopus subject areas