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Environmental policy implications of working from home: Modelling the impacts of land-use, infrastructure and socio-demographics

Miao Fu, J Andrew Kelly, J. Peter Clinch and Fearghal King

Energy Policy, 2012, vol. 47, issue C, 416-423

Abstract: Working from home is generally perceived as an effective means of reducing energy use and associated pollution from commuter transport. In order to consider the merits of mechanisms and policies to support a change in behaviour that results in greater take-up of home working, this paper applies energy consumption per commute calculations and a logit model using a case study of Ireland. In marked contrast with larger countries, the energy consumption per commute is relatively low in Ireland. Nonetheless, the analysis indicates that, on average, at least an average net saving of 9.33kWh per day can be achieved where an individual converts to working from home, after deducting the home energy consumption associated with home working. We find that land use patterns, public transport networks, internet infrastructure, commute distances and socio-demographic characteristics can serve to influence rates of home working. Encouraging the higher and lower professional categories and those in the service sectors to work from home should be the highest priority in terms of energy and emissions reductions. Increased coverage of internet services and railway coverage will support higher rates of home working. Increased dispersion of residential, commercial and industrial areas serves to encourage greater home working.

Keywords: Working from home; Transport and land use; Environmental policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.05.014

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