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Title: An investigation of the possible extent of the re-spending rebound effect in the sphere of consumer products
Authors: Chalkey, A
Harrison, DJ
Billett, EH
Issue Date: 2002
Publisher: Kluwer
Citation: The Journal of Sustainable Product Design. 1, 163–170
Abstract: A key method used to reduce the environmental impact of a product is to make it more energy efficient. Previous studies have found that the potential benefits from improved efficiency are often at least partially negated by increased use of the product. This is called the ‘rebound effect’. The logical extension of this theory is to consider what happens when efficiency savings from one product lead to the purchase of, or greater use of, another. This paper considers this issue, called the ‘re-spending effect’, and uses the illustration of the purchase of an energy-efficient fridge-freezer and the installation of a high-efficiency domestic boiler to demonstrate the loss of up to 27% of the potential environmental benefit when monetary savings are spent on other products and services. The paper concludes that the development of high value, long-lasting, low resource-use products should be encouraged as a way of counteracting the ‘re-spending’ effect thus producing an overall reduction in energy use and its attendant environmental damage.
Appears in Collections:Design
Dept of Design Research Papers

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