par Nemoz, Sophie
Référence (19, 20, 21 septembre: Barcelone), 7th Biennial International Workshop “Advances in Energy Studies 2010
Publication Publié, 2010
Publication dans des actes
  • The meaning of rebound effects in the energy-related practices of households
Auteur:Nemoz, Sophie
Informations sur la publication:(19, 20, 21 septembre: Barcelone), 7th Biennial International Workshop “Advances in Energy Studies 2010
Statut de publication:Publié, 2010
Sujet CREF:Géographie urbaine
Note générale:In this talk I aim at sharpening a sociological focus on the rebound effects in the metabolic patterns of societies. Nowadays the work to this goal is gaining new momentum. Over the past thirty years, the energy use of appliances has been steadily decreasing with greater awareness of the importance of energy efficiency and innovations in technologies. However, overall household energy consumption for this period has risen. According to several economists, a part of this phenomenon is due to “rebound effects”. The general principle behind the rebound effects is that by reducing a product’s energy consumption, pollution and use of natural resources are also reduced, but less energy use means lower running costs which encourage greater use of the product, limiting the benefits that the energy reduction should have brought. Indeed, the issue of rebound effects raises basic questions about a break in the addiction to fossil energy. Firstly, we will begin by briefly reviewing a range of economic studies on this subject and as we will see, most of them revolve around a strikingly limited understanding of the social world and how it uses energy resources. Inferring from such an assessment, a research was concentrated on revitalizing the discussion, by rethinking the concept of rebound effects through an empirical approach. Its fieldwork is dedicated to the energy-related practices of Belgian households. Through qualitative methods applied to dwelling energy consumption (fuels and electricity) and to everyday mobility (work and leisure), the underlying idea of this sociological study is to determine the structure and some mechanisms of the trend so-called “rebound effects”. This perspective leads to reconsider other possible analyses including those grounded in social theories of practice and transition. Finally, the ambition is not only to gain an insight into the societal meaning of rebound effects but also to help identify opportunities for making better use of existing scientific resources.