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Does Energy Efficiency really reduce energy consumption?


Tim Harford

From a macro-economic point of view, is Energy Efficiency really a good thing? Or is it counter-productive? Some economist such as William Stanley Jevons used to think that “Energy Efficiency does not reduce energy consumption”. In this very thoughtful article, Tim Harford provides interesting insights to show that Energy Efficiency does reduce energy consumption.

Without trying to challenge this man of genius, Tim Harford, we can still have some doubts and not totally agree with him. Indeed, as someone commented in his blog: “Isn’t the reduction in the UK energy consumption mostly due to the fact that much industry has been displaced to other countries (China)? Wouldn’t you have to include “embodied” energy in your calculations when saying that reduced UK consumption per capita is a “mark against Khazzoom-Brookes”? How about internalizing external costs?”