Grant D. Jacobsen

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Are Building Codes Effective at Saving Energy?

Evidence from Residential Billing Data in Florida

 

Grant D. Jacobsen

Matthew J. Kotchen

 

Jacobsen, G. D. and M. J. Kotchen (2013). “Are Building Codes Effective at Saving Energy? Evidence from Residential Billing Data in Florida,” Review of Economics and Statistics 95 (1): 34-49.

 

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Journal Article

 

Abstract

We evaluate the effect of a change in the energy code applied to buildings using residential billing data on electricity and natural gas, combined with data on observable characteristics of each residence. The study is based on comparisons between residences constructed just before and after an increase in the stringency of Florida’s energy code in 2002. We find that the code change is associated with a decrease in the consumption of electricity by 4% and natural gas by 6%. We estimate average social and private payback periods that range between 3.5 and 6.4 years.