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Clean heating and heating poverty: A perspective based on cost-benefit analysis

Feng, T; Du, H; Coffman, D; Qu, A; Dong, Z; (2021) Clean heating and heating poverty: A perspective based on cost-benefit analysis. Energy Policy , 152 , Article 112205. 10.1016/j.enpol.2021.112205. Green open access

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To improve the air quality in winter, clean heating policy was implemented in “2 + 26” cities of China in 2016, which mainly included replacing coal with gas or electricity. Tremendous financial subsidies have been provided by city and central governments. This new heating mode changed the heating fee-cost to residents. This paper estimates the economic costs to both governments and residents, and evaluates the environmental and public health benefits by combining a difference-in-differences model with an exposure-response function. Results show that the total costs of clean heating were up to 43.1 billion yuan. Governments and residents account for 44% and 56% of the total costs, respectively. In terms of benefits, the clean heating project is effective for air pollution control and brings health economic benefits of about 109.85 billion yuan (95% CI: 22.40–159.83). The clean heating policy was identified as a net-positive benefit program with environmental and public health improvements. However, the inequality in subsidies from different cities governments increases the heating burden on low-income households and leads to heating poverty for households in the less developed regions. We provide suggestions for implementation in future clean heating campaigns and in subsidy mechanism design in China and for other developing countries.

Type: Article
Title: Clean heating and heating poverty: A perspective based on cost-benefit analysis
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2021.112205
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2021.112205
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Clean heating,Cost-benefit analysis, Heating poverty, Air pollution, Health
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10123412
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