Energy Efficiency

, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 951–962 | Cite as

Energising households: a financial analysis of incentivised energy efficiency measures in remote Australia

  • Lisa HavasEmail author
  • Julie Ballweg
  • Chris Penna
  • Digby Race
Original Article


Governments in developed economies are making considerable investments in energy efficiency technologies and encouraging residential households to conserve energy. A major programme in Australia has invested A$280 million to encourage residential households to become more energy aware and make additional investment in energy efficiency measures. This paper examines the adoption of energy efficiency measures by residential households participating in this programme in a geographically remote Australian town. It uses data collected by the programme developers. It examines the financial return of the investment in terms of payback period and internal rate of return. It then discusses the financial return with respect to adoption of a range of products offered by the programme. Results show that adoption of energy efficiency measures by households was not solely guided by rational economic-maximising principles. For example, some frequently adopted measures had negative financial effectiveness. A range of important determining factors are discussed, and the consequent impact this has for analysis of the effectiveness of incentive programmes. Finally, this paper proposes considerations for future programmes to more effectively measure and target efficient adoption of energy efficient measures, both in remote and non-remote residential settings.


Energy efficiency Households Australia Incentive Internal rate of return 



The research was conducted using a methodology approved by the Charles Darwin University’s Human Research Ethics Committee (approved application H13039). The authors would like to acknowledge the Alice Springs Town Council for their support of this project and are also grateful to the referees whose careful reviews led to improvements in this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa Havas
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Julie Ballweg
    • 1
  • Chris Penna
    • 2
  • Digby Race
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Centre for Renewable EnergyCharles Darwin UniversityDarwinAustralia
  2. 2.Alice Solar CityAlice SpringsAustralia
  3. 3.Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic ParticipationAlice SpringsAustralia
  4. 4.CSIRO Ecosystem SciencesAlice SpringsAustralia

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