Incentive to conserve

The Fiala government is working on the details of a special energy tariff that is supposed to
provide economic relief to households and also encourage energy conservation. The problem
with this concept is that a lower rate for a certain amount of energy consumed by a household could actually give people less incentive to conserve. If today’s sky-high energy rates
aren’t already enough to get people to change their habits, why should a two-tier pricing
system do the trick? It’s true that the media hype surrounding the launch of the new program could have an initial positive impact on habits, but not permanently. Unless of course
the full subsidized rate only applied if a household didn’t exceed a certain limit. The more
you went beyond what a “responsible” household was supposed to consume, the smaller the
discount for the subsidized part. This would be devilishly difficult to implement, and people
would complain loudly, but they would also have a true reason to cut back on energy use

FW220524

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