The energy costs of historic preservation

Christian A.L. Hilber*, Charles Palmer, Ted Pinchbeck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


We explore the impact of historic preservation policies on domestic energy consumption. Using panel data for England from 2006 to 2013 and employing a fixed effects strategy, we document that (i) rising national energy prices induce an increase in home energy efficiency installations and a corresponding reduction in energy consumption and (ii) this energy saving effect is significantly less pronounced in Conservation Areas and in places with high concentrations of Listed Buildings, where the adoption of energy efficiency installations is typically more costly and sometimes legally prevented altogether. Historic preservation policies increase private energy costs and the social cost of carbon per designated dwelling by around £11,600 ($19,100) and £2,400 ($4,000), respectively. These costs ought to be weighed against any benefits of preservation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103197
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Urban Economics
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2019


  • Historic preservation
  • Land use regulation
  • Energy efficiency
  • Energy consumption
  • Climate change


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