The Rebound Effect in Home Heating : A guide for policymakers and practitioners book cover
1st Edition

The Rebound Effect in Home Heating
A guide for policymakers and practitioners

ISBN 9781138788350
Published June 24, 2015 by Routledge
162 Pages

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Book Description

This is a definitive guide to the rebound effect in home heating – the increase in energy service use after a technological intervention aimed at reducing consumption. It sets out what the effect is, how it plays out in the home heating sector, what this implies for energy saving initiatives in this sector, and how it relates to rebound effects in other sectors. The book outlines how the concept of the rebound effect has been developed and the scope of research on it, both generally and particularly in the home heating sector. Within the context of energy and CO2 emissions policy, it summarises the empirical evidence, exploring its causes and the attempts that are being made to mitigate it. Various definitions of the rebound effect are considered, in particular the idea of the effect as an energy-efficiency ‘elasticity’. The book shows how this definition can be rigorously applied to thermal retrofits, and to national consumption data, to give logically consistent rebound effect results that can be coherently compared with those of other sectors, and allow policy makers to have more confidence in the predictions about potential energy savings. 

Table of Contents

Preface  1. The rebound effect and domestic heating  2. What causes the rebound effect in home heating?  3. The Prebound Effect  4. Methods for estimating the rebound effect in domestic energy consumption  5 Rebound effects in low energy dwellings and passive houses  6. Fuel poverty and the rebound effect  7. Rebound Effects in Non-Residential Buildings  8. Conclusions, insights and recommendations

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Ray Galvin has an interdisciplinary background, including engineering, social science and policy studies. He works with the Engineering and Architecture Departments at the University of Cambridge, UK, and the Business and Economics Faculty at RWTH-Aachen University, Germany. His main research interest in recent years has been energy efficiency upgrades of existing homes, focusing mostly on Germany and the UK, but also on Europe more widely. He has published extensively on economic, social, technical and policy issues with regard to domestic energy consumption. His empirical and theoretical work includes research on the rebound effect in both buildings and transport.


"This book is a must-read for anyone who needs or wants to understand the reasons why home retrofit energy savings are so often disappointing."
—Nicola Terry, Consultant, UK

"This is a useful, interesting, short, but complex book. It could be read by anyone interested in exploring the impact of policy on building space conditioning energy use."
—SBSE News, Nigel Isaacs, School of Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

"Galvin seeks to offer a practical guide for policy-makers and practitioners in understanding how rebound affects home heating. The aim of the book is to offer its audience a deeper understanding of the rebound effect, practical methods for understanding and analysing it, and the implications it might have in both research and policy. This respectfully slim book contains a well-selected set of chapters covering: an introduction to the rebound effect as it applies to domestic heating, a discussion of the causes of rebound effect as under- stood by various disciplines; methods for estimating the effect on home heating energy demand; the relationship between rebound and fuel poverty and also low-energy housing; along with a consideration about how the effect is seen in non-residential buildings. …. This book is a welcome addition to an under-studied issue within the home heating literature."
—Ian Hamilton, University College London 

Support Material


  • Video

    Watch a recording of the live webinar from March 2016 where Ray Galvin discusses how we can reduce the energy demands of buildings.