Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 1–23 | Cite as

The Effect of Mail-in Utility Rebates on Willingness-to-Pay for ENERGY STAR\(^{\textregistered }\) Certified Refrigerators

  • Xiaogu Li
  • Christopher D. Clark
  • Kimberly L. Jensen
  • Steven T. Yen


The number and variety of governmental programs designed to promote energy efficiency have increased over time. Examples include mandatory minimum efficiency standards, subsidies for more energy efficient goods and services, and consumer labels, such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR\(^{\textregistered }\). While there has been considerable research on the effects of these programs in isolation, there has been less of a focus on joint effects or interactions between programs. This study examines how the offer of a mail-in rebate influences consumer willingness-to-pay for an ENERGY STAR-certified refrigerator. Data used for this study were collected from an online survey containing a hypothetical choice experiment conducted in the United States in 2009. Results suggest that the offer of a rebate induces uncertainty about the quality of ENERGY STAR-certified refrigerators and, thus, could actually reduce willingness-to-pay for such refrigerators.


ENERGY STAR Energy efficiency Rebate Refrigerator Willingness-to-pay 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaogu Li
    • 1
  • Christopher D. Clark
    • 1
  • Kimberly L. Jensen
    • 1
  • Steven T. Yen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural and Resource EconomicsUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

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