Working paper / Climate
The Role of Information for Energy Efficiency in the Residential Sector
In spite of the large potential and existing efforts to foster energy efficiency in the residential sector, much remains to be achieved. This may be partially due to the many barriers and market failures faced by energy efficiency, which are even greater in the residential sector. In particular, informational failures seem to be pervasive and relevant in this area. Addressing these issues requires specific policy instruments and strategies. This paper reviews the empirical evidence on the effectiveness of such instruments, focusing on energy certificates, feedback programs, and energy audits. Results show that energy certificates and feedback programs can be effective, but only if they are carefully designed. Yet energy audits seem to have little effect on efficiency. In addition, the paper points out the large potential for new instruments as well as combinations of existing ones.