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The Effect of Feedback by Text Message (SMS) and Email on Household Electricity Consumption: Experimental Evidence


  • Maria Gleerup
  • Anders Larsen
  • Soren Leth-Petersen
  • Mikael Togeby


This paper analyzes the effect of supplying feedback by text messages (SMS) and email about electricity consumption on the level of total household electricity consumption. An experiment was conducted in which 1,452 households were randomly allocated to three experimental groups and two control groups. Feedback was supplied throughout 2007 to members of the experiment groups who accepted the invitation, and data on consumption of electricity for 2006 and 2007 collected for all participants and control group members. 30% of the households invited to receive feedback accepted the invitation. Results suggest that email and SMS messaging that communicated timely information about a householdÕs ÔexceptionalÕ consumption periods (e.g. highest week of electricity use in past quarter) produced average reductions in total annual electricity use of about 3%. The feedback technology is cheap to implement and therefore likely to be cost-effective.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Gleerup & Anders Larsen & Soren Leth-Petersen & Mikael Togeby, 2010. "The Effect of Feedback by Text Message (SMS) and Email on Household Electricity Consumption: Experimental Evidence," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 113-132.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:2010v31-03-a06

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    Cited by:

    1. Schleich, Joachim & Gassmann, Xavier & Faure, Corinne & Meissner, Thomas, 2016. "Making the implicit explicit: A look inside the implicit discount rate," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 321-331.
    2. Iwafune, Yumiko & Mori, Yuko & Kawai, Toshiaki & Yagita, Yoshie, 2017. "Energy-saving effect of automatic home energy report utilizing home energy management system data in Japan," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 382-392.
    3. Nicolas Astier, 2016. "Comparative Feedbacks under Incomplete Information," Working Papers hal-01465189, HAL.
    4. Rosenkranz, Stephanie & Vringer, Kees & Dirkmaat, Thomas & van den Broek, Eva & Abeelen, Christiaan & Travaille, Anjo, 2017. "Using behavioral insights to make firms more energy efficient: A field experiment on the effects of improved communication," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 184-193.
    5. Maya Papineau & Nicholas Rivers, "undated". "Visualizing Energy Efficiency: A Picture is Worth More Than 1,022 Words," Carleton Economic Papers 19-10, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
    6. Schleich, Joachim & Faure, Corinne & Klobasa, Marian, 2017. "Persistence of the effects of providing feedback alongside smart metering devices on household electricity demand," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 225-233.
    7. Paolo Zangheri & Tiago Serrenho & Paolo Bertoldi, 2019. "Energy Savings from Feedback Systems: A Meta-Studies’ Review," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(19), pages 1-18, October.
    8. Buckley, Penelope, 2020. "Prices, information and nudges for residential electricity conservation: A meta-analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 172(C).
    9. Peter John & Jane Robb, 2017. "Using behavioural insights for citizen compliance and cooperation," Evidence Base, Australia and New Zealand School of Government, vol. 2017(1), pages 1-1, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General


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