Energy use in housing

by Kevin Neels


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This study examines the factors governing decisions by landlords, homeowners, and tenants regarding residential energy use and conservation. The report covers three principal areas: the technology of housing operation and improvement; the behavior of landlords, homeowners, and tenants; and the interaction between technology and behavior that determines how much energy is used. The review of research into the nature of housing production technology indicates that it is quite easy for owners of residential property to reduce the amount of energy their holdings require. There is strong evidence that owners and occupants of residential properties respond to the incentives created by shifting energy prices. These findings indicate that the housing market is well equipped to deal with rising energy prices. Research into homeowner and landlord behavior indicates that property owners are strongly influenced by the marginal incentives facing them. Of all the decisions that must be made about a residential property, the strongest linkage exists between choices about energy use and maintenance policy.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.