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Smarter than metering? Coupling smart meters and complementary currencies to reinforce the motivation of households for energy savings

Listed author(s):
  • Joachain, Hélène
  • Klopfert, Frédéric

A crucial argument in the debate around smart meter deployment in the EU is the potential for households to save energy. One strand of research in this field has investigated the effects on household energy consumption of the feed-back provided by smart meters. However, another aspect that deserves attention is the motivation for households to use the feed-back to save energy. This paper explores how the emerging trend of using complementary currencies for sustainability policies could translate into new interventions adapted to the smart meter deployment and capable of promoting more autonomous forms of motivation compared to interventions using official currencies. Three systems designs (rewarding, regulatory and hybrid) are presented and discussed within the framework of self-determination theory. Because the rewarding system S1 can contribute positively people's basic needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness, it could lead to more autonomous forms of motivation. The conclusions regarding the regulatory system S2 are less clear, although the hybrid variant S3 that integrates mechanisms from the rewarding system into the regulatory system could be perceived as more consonant with people's basic need for autonomy.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800914001682
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 105 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 89-96

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:105:y:2014:i:c:p:89-96
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2014.05.017
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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  1. Seyfang, Gill & Longhurst, Noel, 2013. "Growing green money? Mapping community currencies for sustainable development," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 65-77.
  2. Hélène Joachain & Frédéric Klopfert, 2011. "Emerging trend of complementary currencies systems as policy instrument for environmental purposes: changes ahead?," Working Papers CEB 11-047, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Starkey, Richard, 2012. "Personal carbon trading: A critical survey Part 2: Efficiency and effectiveness," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 19-28.
  4. Fawcett, Tina, 2010. "Personal carbon trading: A policy ahead of its time?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 6868-6876, November.
  5. Schleich, Joachim & Klobasa, Marian & Brunner, Marc & Gölz, Sebastian & Götz, Konrad, 2011. "Smart metering in Germany and Austria: Results of providing feedback information in a field trial," Working Papers "Sustainability and Innovation" S6/2011, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
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