28 thoughts on “Weekend reflections

  1. I take your point about split incentives, etc and that Hansen may be well versed on mandatory efficiency standards from building codes to appliances. However we may simply require mandatory efficinency standards because the private cost of energy is way below some true social cost in the current constitution of our marketplace.

    My experience of washing machine efficiency is simply that the washing takes twice as long and what point is there making reverse cycle aircond appliances more efficient (eg mandating say inverter technology) if there is simply increasing takeup and useage? Ditto energy saving shower heads cf how long certain household members stand under them. Price dwarfs these pitiful rearguard actions IMO, as we noticed when oil prices shot up with vehicle choice and driving habits. To the extent that Govts telegraph a measured and steady crossover to carbon taxing consumers will alter their longer term outlook similarly.

  2. re: #26 observa

    These are Jevon’s Paradox effects, which apply sometimes and don’t sometimes.

    For example, refrigerators are more efficient than they used to be (Rosenfeld & co). We don’t buy a bigger fridge as a result, because it wouldn’t fit into the cabinetry around it.

    Likewise, a lot of energy is wasted in commercial building lighting and HVAC. Just turning lights off automatically can save money, and businesses (around here, anyway) do that.

    Price matters for things that have high price-elasticity, but you *really, really* need to study the CA Energy Commission web pages before you dismiss all this as pitiful rearguard actions.

    For example, here’s Chevron Energy Solutions, which has a serious business around energy efficiency.

    Of course, some of this works in CA because people have been conditioned for decades to expect rising prices for electricity and gas, but it turns out monthly bills haven’t generally gone up, because people get more efficient. CA has managed to keep KWh/person flat for 30 years, while US average has gone up substantially.

  3. Classy stuff (Class 2A) John.
    Still following your career avidly.
    It’s academic (a bit) for me to add scholarly comment.
    Thou sayest it all.

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