Not usually. Combined rebound effects drive total economy-wide increases in energy demand with the potential to erode much (and in some cases all) of the expected reductions in energy consumption. In certain cases, efficiency improvements will “backfire,” driving a rebound in energy that fully compensates for the initial energy savings, increasing energy demand overall. Think of it this way: for every two steps forward we take in energy savings through efficiency, rebound effects take us one (and sometimes more) steps backwards. On the other hand, rebound effects equate to a net increase in consumer and social welfare, and thus should not necessarily be viewed negatively.
Category: Energy Efficiency