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Accession Number DE2012-1045930
Title Effect of Energy Efficiency Standards on Natural Gas Prices.
Publication Date Jul 2011
Media Count 37p
Personal Author A. Lekov L. Dale M. Carnall
Abstract A primary justification for the establishment of energy efficiency standards for home appliances is the existence of information deficiencies and externalities in the market for appliances. For example, when a long-term homeowner purchases a new gas-fired water heater, she will maximize the value of her purchase by comparing the life-cycle cost of ownership of available units, including both total installed cost--purchase price plus installation costs--and operating cost in the calculus. Choice of the appliance with the lowest life-cycle costs leads to the most economically efficient balance between capital cost and fuel cost. However, if the purchaser's expected period of ownership is shorter than the useful life of the appliance, or the purchaser does not pay for the fuel used by the appliance, as is often the case with rental property, fuel cost will be external to her costs, biasing her decision toward spending less on fuel efficiency and resulting in the purchase of an appliance with greater than optimal fuel usage. By imposing an efficiency standard on appliances, less efficient appliances are made unavailable, precluding less efficient purchases and reducing fuel usage. The reduction in fuel demanded by residential users affects the total demand for such fuels as natural gas, for example. Reduced demand implies that residential customers are willing to purchase less gas at each price level. That is, the demand curve, labeled D(sub 0) in Figure 1, shifts to the left to D(sub 1). If there is no change in the supply function, the supply curve will intersect the demand curve at a lower price. Residential demand is only one component of the total demand for natural gas. It is possible that total demand will decline very little if demand in other sectors increases substantially in response to a decline in the price. If demand does decrease, modeling studies generally confirm the intuition that reductions in demand for natural gas will result in reductions in its price as seen at the wellhead (Wiser 2007). The magnitude of the effect on price relative to the demand reduction, and the mechanism through which it occurs, is less well established. This report attempts to quantify the potential effects of reduced demand for natural gas in the residential sector, in response to the implementation of an energy efficiency standard for water heaters.
Keywords Appliances
Capitalized costs
Energy efficiency standards
Life cycle costs
Natural gas
Operating costs
Residential sector
Service life
Water heaters

Source Agency Technical Information Center Oak Ridge Tennessee
NTIS Subject Category 97K - Fuels
97B - Energy Use, Supply, & Demand
97G - Policies, Regulations & Studies
89H - Building Equipment, Furnishings, & Maintenance
Corporate Author Lawrence Berkeley National Lab., CA. Energy Analysis Dept.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1303
Contract Number DE-AC02-05CH11231

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