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Are Prosumer Households That Much Different? Evidence from Stated Residential Energy Consumption in Germany

Christian Oberst, Hendrik Schmitz and Reinhard Madlener ()

No 24/2016, FCN Working Papers from E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN)

Abstract: This paper discusses the effect of residential energy prosuming on households’ energy consumption behavior with the objective to find evidence for a “prosumer rebound effect” on energy consumption. Prosuming is the partial self-consumption of distributed energy production. We hypothesize that prosumer households are systematically different from consumer households regarding their housing situation and socio-economic characteristics. We address sample selection bias by using a quasi-experimental technique called propensity score matching as our identification strategy. We employ data from a nationwide online survey among homeowners in Germany. While the data shows a correlation of lower energy consumption and prosumer households, we find no significant difference of energy consumption behavior between prosumers and non-prosumers when controlling for sample selection bias. Instead, the lower energy consumption of prosumer households is attributed to more energy-efficient technical equipment and thus to purchasing behavior. Our results show neither evidence for negative nor positive externalities of prosuming on residential energy consumption behavior and therefore we conclude that there is no need for additional governmental measures in the form of taxation or subsidies to address behavioral changes of energy prosuming.

Keywords: Prosumer Households; Rebound; Propensity Score Matching; Residential Energy Consumption; Energy Efficiency; Renewable Energies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C14 D12 O33 Q42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene
Date: 2016-12, Revised 2018-03
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