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Promoting household energy conservation

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  • Steg, Linda
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    Abstract

    It is commonly assumed that households must change their behaviour to reduce the problems caused by increasing levels of fossil energy use. Strategies for behaviour change will be more effective if they target the most important causes of the behaviour in question. Therefore, this paper first discusses the factors influencing household energy use. Three barriers to fossil fuel energy conservation are discussed: insufficient knowledge of effective ways to reduce household energy use, the low priority and high costs of energy savings, and the lack of feasible alternatives. Next, the paper elaborates on the effectiveness and acceptability of strategies aimed to promote household energy savings. Informational strategies aimed at changing individuals' knowledge, perceptions, cognitions, motivations and norms, as well as structural strategies aimed at changing the context in which decisions are made, are discussed. This paper focuses on the psychological literature on household energy conservation, which mostly examined the effects of informational strategies. Finally, this paper lists important topics for future research.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 12 (December)
    Pages: 4449-4453

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:12:p:4449-4453

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

    Related research

    Keywords: Household energy use Behavioural change Energy information;

    References

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    1. Reinders, A. H. M. E. & Vringer, K. & Blok, K., 2003. "The direct and indirect energy requirement of households in the European Union," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 139-153, January.
    2. Jakobsson, C. & Fujii, S. & Gärling, T., 2000. "Determinants of private car users' acceptance of road pricing," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 153-158, April.
    3. Vringer, Kees & Blok, Kornelis, 1995. "The direct and indirect energy requirements of households in the Netherlands," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(10), pages 893-910, October.
    4. Poortinga, Wouter & Steg, Linda & Vlek, Charles & Wiersma, Gerwin, 2003. "Household preferences for energy-saving measures: A conjoint analysis," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 49-64, February.
    5. Santos, Georgina, 2004. "11. Urban Road Pricing In The U.K," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 251-282, January.
    6. Cecilia Jakobsson & Satoshi Fujii & Tommy Gärling, 2002. "Effects of economic disincentives on private car use," Transportation, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 349-370, November.
    7. Benders, Rene M.J. & Kok, Rixt & Moll, Henri C. & Wiersma, Gerwin & Noorman, Klaas Jan, 2006. "New approaches for household energy conservation--In search of personal household energy budgets and energy reduction options," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(18), pages 3612-3622, December.
    8. Santos, Georgina & Li, Wai Wing & Koh, Winston T.H, 2004. "9. Transport Policies In Singapore," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 209-235, January.
    9. Katzev, Richard D. & Johnson, Theodore R., 1983. "A social-psychological analysis of residential electricity consumption: the impact of minimal justification techniques," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 3(3-4), pages 267-284, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Bai, Yin & Liu, Yong, 2013. "An exploration of residents’ low-carbon awareness and behavior in Tianjin, China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1261-1270.
    2. Simcock, Neil & MacGregor, Sherilyn & Catney, Philip & Dobson, Andrew & Ormerod, Mark & Robinson, Zoe & Ross, Simon & Royston, Sarah & Marie Hall, Sarah, 2014. "Factors influencing perceptions of domestic energy information: Content, source and process," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 455-464.
    3. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/c6t1fl36hv9s7q89j8m3l01c9 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Martinsson, Johan & Lundqvist, Lennart J. & Sundström, Aksel, 2011. "Energy saving in Swedish households. The (relative) importance of environmental attitudes," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 5182-5191, September.
    5. Hong, Gui-Bing & Su, Te-Li & Lee, Jenq-Daw & Hsu, Tsung-Chi & Chen, Hua-Wei, 2010. "Energy conservation potential in Taiwanese textile industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 7048-7053, November.
    6. Gangale, Flavia & Mengolini, Anna & Onyeji, Ijeoma, 2013. "Consumer engagement: An insight from smart grid projects in Europe," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 621-628.
    7. Delmas, Magali A. & Fischlein, Miriam & Asensio, Omar I., 2013. "Information strategies and energy conservation behavior: A meta-analysis of experimental studies from 1975 to 2012," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 729-739.
    8. Lillemo, Shuling Chen, 2014. "Measuring the effect of procrastination and environmental awareness on households' energy-saving behaviours: An empirical approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 249-256.
    9. Sung-Lin Hsueh, 2012. "A Fuzzy Utility-Based Multi-Criteria Model for Evaluating Households’ Energy Conservation Performance: A Taiwanese Case Study," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(8), pages 2818-2834, August.
    10. Corradi, Nicola & Priftis, Konstantinos & Jacucci, Giulio & Gamberini, Luciano, 2013. "Oops, I forgot the light on! The cognitive mechanisms supporting the execution of energy saving behaviors," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 88-96.
    11. Evens Salies, 2012. "Real-time pricing when consumers have saving costs," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2012-11, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    12. David L. Ryan & Junaid Bin Jahangir, 2013. "Are There Realistic Possibilities for a Higher "Batting" Average? On Improving Residential Energy Efficiency in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 39(s2), pages 125-142, August.
    13. Yue, Ting & Long, Ruyin & Chen, Hong, 2013. "Factors influencing energy-saving behavior of urban households in Jiangsu Province," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 665-675.
    14. McNamara, S. & Grubb, M., 2011. "The Psychological Underpinnings of the Consumer Role in Energy Demand and Carbon Abatement," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1126, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    15. Schweiker, Marcel & Shukuya, Masanori, 2010. "Comparative effects of building envelope improvements and occupant behavioural changes on the exergy consumption for heating and cooling," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 2976-2986, June.
    16. Gerpott, Torsten J. & Paukert, Mathias, 2013. "Determinants of willingness to pay for smart meters: An empirical analysis of household customers in Germany," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 483-495.
    17. Ek, Kristina & Söderholm, Patrik, 2010. "The devil is in the details: Household electricity saving behavior and the role of information," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 1578-1587, March.
    18. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/5k7940uimfdf9c898a1ol5436 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Oikonomou, V. & Becchis, F. & Steg, L. & Russolillo, D., 2009. "Energy saving and energy efficiency concepts for policy making," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4787-4796, November.
    20. Evens Salies, 2010. "Penalizing Consumers for Saving Electricity," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(2), pages 1144-1153.
    21. Salies, Evens, 2013. "Real-time pricing when some consumers resist in saving electricity," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 843-849.
    22. Kenichi Mizobuchi & Kenji Takeuchi, 2012. "Using Economic Incentives to Reduce Electricity Consumption: A field Experiment in Matsuyama, Japan," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 2(4), pages 318-332.

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