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

The Rebound Effect in Home Heating

A guide for policymakers and practitioners, 1st Edition

By Ray Galvin


144 pages

Look Inside
Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138788350
pub: 2015-06-18
SAVE ~$12.19
Hardback: 9781138788343
pub: 2015-06-18
SAVE ~$41.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315696942
pub: 2015-06-12
from $30.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


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. 


"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

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

About the Author

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.

About the Series

Building Research and Information

BUILDING RESEARCH & INFORMATION (BRI) is a leading international refereed journal focussed on buildings and their supporting systems. Unique to BRI is a focus on a holistic, transdisciplinary approach to buildings and the complexity of issues involving the built environment with other systems over the course of their life. In order to build upon the messages of the Journal, Earthscan from Routledge is launching a new book series under the same editorship of Richard Lorch. The book series shares similar aims and scope to the Journal but will allow for an even deeper discussion around the issues raised, together with more practical material.

In particular the new series is looking to explore the linkages between the built, natural, social and economic environments, with an emphasis on the interactions between theory, policy and practice. Also impacts on ecologies, resources (water, energy, air, materials, building stocks, etc.), sustainable development (social, economic, environmental and natural capitals) and climate change (mitigation and adaptation) will be in scope. As with the Journal the performance, impacts, assessment, contributions, improvement and value of buildings, building stocks and related systems will also be included.

New interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches need an international forum for information and discussion. BRI has followed this evolution and this new book series will aim to reflect that same breadth of subject matter and contributions. We will also strive for the same levels of editorial innovation and feedback that have made the Journal so popular.

If you wish to contribute to the series then contact either the series Editor , Richard Lorch at or the Commissioning Editor, Ed Needle with a short note about your ideas.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Urban & Land Use Planning
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Construction / General


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