Rebound or Backfire Effects of Energy Efficiency Mandates across the supply chain

A New York Times article (March 8, 2011) describes the impact of energy efficiency mandates across products. Front loading washers, a response to energy efficient washer mandates, are observed to result in dirtier clothes and perhaps, as a consequence multiple washes. More efficient steel production is linked to more steel production and thus more energy consumption.  The article raises the question – Can energy efficiency mandates end up creating greater energy usage ? Will the energy efficiency related money saved be spent on other goods that end up having a greater energy use if the mandates are not uniform across the supply chain ? Will coal consumption increase if, as in Jevons paradox, steam engines become more efficient in their coal usage ? In short, should efficiency mandates be accompanied by other schemes – such penalties for consumption across the supply chain so that the excess funds are not used to increase energy impacts ?

About aviyer2010

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