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The impact of cooling energy needs on subjective well-being: Evidence from Japan
Ecological Economics  (IF6.536),  Pub Date : 2022-05-18, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2022.107464
Moegi Igawa, Xiangdan Piao, Shunsuke Managi

Given the increasing energy needs for indoor cooling and the growing attention to energy poverty, it is important to understand how cooling energy needs in the hot summer season affect human well-being in relation to income level. Using Japan as a case country, this study examines how much energy consumption increases in response to higher temperatures in the summer season and how the additional energy needs for indoor cooling, in turn, affect subjective well-being (SWB). The results confirm that higher cooling energy needs can reduce SWB. In relation to income level, the lowest-income group faces the highest cooling energy needs, presumably due to lower energy efficiency in housing. In contrast, the negative effect of cooling energy needs on SWB is the largest for the middle-income group. This contradictory finding implies that behavioral aspects matter for the evaluation of SWB.