Zwei Schritte vor, einer zurück
An European study shows that the rebound effect repeal energy and resource savings between 10 and 30 percent. Therefore, the adverse effect should already taken into account when designing policy instruments to improve efficiency. If the measures are combined skillfully, the rebound effect can be decreased. The results of the project conducted by BIO Intelligence Service, GVSS, and Ecologic Institute are summarized in the journal articel. The article is available for download.
Whether energy consumption, material use and waste management: Increasing efficiency is a major objective in environmental programs and management plans, in politics as well as in business or government. However, the good thing is a catch: the rebound effect. This involves a planned increase in efficiency, which is not met in reality or only partially. The reason lies mostly in the reaction of users or consumers - both individuals and businesses - on political, market based or technical changes. The rebound effect compensate at least a portion of the proposed environmental improvements. Thus it limits policies and technical improvements to the energy and resource conservation.
The underlying study to the publication [pdf, 200 KB, German] recommends different measures for counteracting the rebound effect. As one measure: a policy toolbox should be developed. The toolbox should contain definitions, evidences and possible measures. Furthermore, support is necessary for data and models to enable better understanding of rebound effects and mitigating measures. In addition to the efficiency policy interventions already used for resources - physical, time, price and behavioural constraints are needed. This is the rationale for using mixed instruments combining fiscal, technology and behaviour change that incentivise efficiency while limiting rebound effects.