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Rebates: The Energy Efficiency Measure that Can Make a Major Difference
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Attempts to involve tenants in energy conservation efforts have three principal directions: (a) transfer of the burden of payment from owner to occupants; (b) remote control of space heat by energy management systems or building owners, and (c) financial rewards, i.e., rebates. None of these approaches has achieved noteworthy success. Yet, under the right conditions and when properly administered, rebates can be a most useful cost-effective energy conservation measure. This paper will argue that the failure of rebates to induce tenants to conserve energy over extended periods of time can be attributed to program design and administration, and that, in contrast to individual metering or remote control of space heat, a system of rebates, combined with energy education and continuous feedback, is not only cost effective, but the most equitable and intelligent approach to tenant involvement in energy conservation efforts in multi-family buildings. Although the paper discusses rebates from the perspective of colder climates, much of its observations and conclusions are applicable to hot and humid regions as well.
Haun, C. R. (1985). Rebates: The Energy Efficiency Measure that Can Make a Major Difference. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from