"Rebound" effects from increased energy efficiency: a time to pause and reflect

Karen Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


The phenomenon of rebound effects has sparked considerable academic, policy and press debate in recent years over the effectiveness of energy efficiency policy. There has been a huge surge in empirical studies claiming rebound effects of hugely varying magnitudes. The contention of this paper is that the lack of consensus in the literature is grounded in a rush to empirical estimation in the absence of solid analytical foundations. Focus on measuring a single "rebound" measure has led to a neglect of detail on precisely what type of change in energy use is considered in any one study and on the range of mechanisms governing the economy-wide response. This paper attempts to bring a reflective pause to the development of the rebound literature, with a view to identifying the key issues that policymakers need to understand and analysts need to focus their attention on.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-42
Number of pages18
JournalEnergy Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2013


  • Energy demand
  • Energy efficiency
  • Energy supply
  • Rebound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics

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