Do energy efficiency measures really reduce household energy consumption? A difference-in-difference analysis
This study investigates the impact of energy efficiency measures installed through the Carbon Emission Reduction Target (CERT) and the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) on domestic gas and total energy consumptions. The recently released National Energy Efficiency Data-Framework (NEED) database is used to examine the changes in domestic gas and total energy consumptions for the dwellings in the sample relative to the changes in gas and total energy consumptions for a comparable control group in the year after installation. The results obtained from this difference-in-difference analysis confirm that observed energy consumption decreases significantly in dwellings following upgrades such as cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and a new efficient boiler. The single most effective energy efficiency measure when installed alone is found to be cavity wall insulation, reducing annual gas consumption by 10.5 % and annual total energy consumption by 8.0 % in the year following installation. Comparing bundles of different energy efficiency measures, we find that dwellings retrofitted with both cavity wall insulation and a new efficient boiler experience the largest reductions in annual gas and total energy consumptions of 13.3 and 13.5 %, respectively. This is followed by a mean annual reduction of 11.9 and 10.5 % in gas and total energy consumptions for dwellings with all three energy efficiency measures installed in the same year. Contrary to expectations, installing cavity wall insulation on its own is found to be more effective in reducing measured energy consumption than combining loft insulation and a new efficient boiler.