How does a shift to renewable energy affect the energy consumption of households? Do saving money or a clear conscience - "I'm using environmentally friendly electricity" - reduce my willingness to save energy? The project "Rebound Effects by Switching to Renewable Energies – Investigation of consumers and prosumer households" investigates whether such rebound effects occur and how they can be mitigated.
The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, under the funding category "Rebound Effects from a Social-Ecological Perspective ". This is within framework programme „Research for Sustainable Development/ Social-Ecological Research“ (FONA3/SÖF).
The project investigates the consumption behaviour of households using renewable energies. Does the decision to use environmentally friendly energy lead to energy-saving and efficient consumption? Or on the contrary, does it lead to direct or indirect rebound effects? If so, how significant are these? And what role do financial, psychological, technological and social factors play here?
The aim of the project is to find ways to avoid rebound effects that damage the environment and, ideally, to further reduce consumers' energy consumption. In order to contribute to this, the project aims to develop three concrete outcomes:
The research project will first provide an overview of the various ways in which households can generate or obtain renewable energy, the relevant framework conditions and the services that are
At the same time, qualitative interviews will be conducted with prosumers. These interviews will determine the attitudes and values of the prosumers, as well as any changes in behaviour after the adoption of renewable energy and the reasons for these changes.
In a subsequent quantitative survey, the actual extent of rebound effects and why they occur will be investigated.
In addition, energy consumption data will be evaluated in order to determine the magnitude of the effects more precisely. Based on these data, the project team will estimate economic and ecological impacts.
Finally, suggestions are will be developed on how rebound effects can be minimised and how the overall energy consumption of households can be reduced.
A number of partners are involved in the project: Consumer centres, climate protection agencies and companies offering services for the generation and the purchase of renewable energies.
The project results will be made accessible for relevant actors: