Through an evaluation of the 2009 Recovery Act's State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program, this paper examines consumers' response to energy efficiency rebates. The analysis shows that 70 percent of consumers claiming a rebate were inframarginal and an additional 15 percent-20 percent of consumers simply delayed their purchases by a few weeks. Consumers responded to rebates by upgrading to higher quality, but less energy-efficient models. Overall the impact of the program on long-term energy demand is likely to be small. Measures of government expenditure per unit of energy saved are an order of magnitude higher than estimates for other energy efficiency programs.
Houde, Sébastien, and Joseph E. Aldy.
"Consumers' Response to State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Programs."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents: Household
State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
Energy: Government Policy