Economics Professor Quoted in Mic About Work from Home and the Environment

May 22, 2020


Experts have been taking a close look at the environmental impact that working from home has had during the COVID-19 pandemic. A May 21 Mic article mentions that many experts believe that working from home has had immediate, positive short-term impacts on the environment. But what would be the long-term effects if companies continue with work-from-home policies?

“I’m not sure whether home or office environments use more energy,” says Eller College of Management Associate Professor of Economics Derek Lemoine in the article. “Many offices are probably more efficient per square foot…However, working from home may avoid conditioning two distinct spaces throughout the day, if houses were conditioned while at work but offices don’t need to be while working from home. That reduction in energy use seems like a clear environmental benefit."

Derek Lemoine joined the Eller College of Management in 2011 after earning his PhD in Energy and Resources from the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to teaching at Eller, he is also a Research Associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research and a member of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) Climate Change Research and Policy Network. His areas of expertise include environmental and energy economics, climate change, technological change and decision-making under uncertainty and over time. His current research combines economic theory and computational methods to better understand the dynamics of optimal environmental policy and of energy systems. He is a member of the American Economic Association, the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists and the Econometric Society.