IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/ecolec/v107y2014icp216-229.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Risk preferences and purchase of energy-efficient technologies in the residential sector

Author

Listed:
  • Qiu, Yueming
  • Colson, Gregory
  • Grebitus, Carola

Abstract

Perceived risk in future energy cost savings of energy efficient technologies has been well identified as a major barrier to the adoption of such technologies. However, direct empirical evidence of the impact of consumer risk aversion on the adoption of energy efficient technologies has been limited. In this paper, we elicit consumer risk preferences using a multiple price list experiment tailored to household energy decisions. We then use the elicited risk preferences to explain consumers' self-reported historical purchase of energy efficient appliances and installation of energy efficiency retrofitting technologies. Using data from 432 homeowners from Arizona and California, USA, results show that more risk averse consumers are less likely to adopt energy efficient technologies (except for the case of energy efficient air-conditioners). In addition, the findings provide evidence that households' perceived mobility as measured by the probability of moving within five years, can amplify the negative impact of risk aversion on the adoption of energy efficiency retrofitting technologies. Overall, the results provide implications for policy makers and companies involved in promoting energy efficient technologies.

Suggested Citation

  • Qiu, Yueming & Colson, Gregory & Grebitus, Carola, 2014. "Risk preferences and purchase of energy-efficient technologies in the residential sector," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 216-229.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:107:y:2014:i:c:p:216-229
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2014.09.002
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800914002729
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kenneth Gillingham & Karen Palmer, 2014. "Bridging the Energy Efficiency Gap: Policy Insights from Economic Theory and Empirical Evidence," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 8(1), pages 18-38, January.
    2. Maréchal, Kevin, 2010. "Not irrational but habitual: The importance of "behavioural lock-in" in energy consumption," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 1104-1114, March.
    3. Kenneth Gillingham & Richard G. Newell & Karen Palmer, 2009. "Energy Efficiency Economics and Policy," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 597-620, September.
    4. Brown, Marilyn A., 2001. "Market failures and barriers as a basis for clean energy policies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(14), pages 1197-1207, November.
    5. Dubin, Jeffrey A & McFadden, Daniel L, 1984. "An Econometric Analysis of Residential Electric Appliance Holdings and Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 345-362, March.
    6. Teresa Serra & David Zilberman & José M. Gil, 2008. "Differential uncertainties and risk attitudes between conventional and organic producers: the case of Spanish arable crop farmers," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(2), pages 219-229, September.
    7. Segal, Uzi, 1987. "The Ellsberg Paradox and Risk Aversion: An Anticipated Utility Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(1), pages 175-202, February.
    8. Marra, Michele & Pannell, David J. & Abadi Ghadim, Amir, 2003. "The economics of risk, uncertainty and learning in the adoption of new agricultural technologies: where are we on the learning curve?," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 75(2-3), pages 215-234.
    9. De Pinto, Alessandro & Robertson, Richard D. & Obiri, Beatrice Darko, 2013. "Adoption of climate change mitigation practices by risk-averse farmers in the Ashanti Region, Ghana," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 47-54.
    10. Martin G. Kocher & Stefan T. Trautmann, 2013. "Selection Into Auctions For Risky And Ambiguous Prospects," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 882-895, January.
    11. Shama, Avraham, 1983. "Energy conservation in US buildings : Solving the high potential/low adoption paradox from a behavioural perspective," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 148-167, June.
    12. Steffen Andersen & Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2008. "Eliciting Risk and Time Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(3), pages 583-618, May.
    13. Luisa Menapace & Gregory Colson & Roberta Raffaelli, 2016. "A comparison of hypothetical risk attitude elicitation instruments for explaining farmer crop insurance purchases," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 43(1), pages 113-135.
    14. Kenneth R. MacCrimmon & Donald A. Wehrung, 1990. "Characteristics of Risk Taking Executives," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(4), pages 422-435, April.
    15. Erin Baker, 2012. "Option Value and the Diffusion of Energy Efficient Products," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4).
    16. James Andreoni & Charles Sprenger, 2012. "Risk Preferences Are Not Time Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3357-3376, December.
    17. Weber, Lukas, 1997. "Some reflections on barriers to the efficient use of energy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(10), pages 833-835, August.
    18. Jerry A. Hausman, 1979. "Individual Discount Rates and the Purchase and Utilization of Energy-Using Durables," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 33-54, Spring.
    19. Levon Barseghyan & Jeffrey Prince & Joshua C. Teitelbaum, 2011. "Are Risk Preferences Stable across Contexts? Evidence from Insurance Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 591-631, April.
    20. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2013. "Time Varying Risk Aversion," EIEF Working Papers Series 1322, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Sep 2013.
    21. Jaffe, Adam B. & Stavins, Robert N., 1994. "The energy paradox and the diffusion of conservation technology," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 91-122, May.
    22. Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2007. "Estimating Risk Attitudes in Denmark: A Field Experiment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(2), pages 341-368, June.
    23. Jehoshua Eliashberg & John R. Hauser, 1985. "A Measurement Error Approach for Modeling Consumer Risk Preference," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(1), pages 1-25, January.
    24. Arnaud Reynaud & Stéphane Couture, 2012. "Stability of risk preference measures: results from a field experiment on French farmers," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 73(2), pages 203-221, August.
    25. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    26. Kahn, Matthew E. & Kok, Nils, 2014. "The capitalization of green labels in the California housing market," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 25-34.
    27. Phoebe Koundouri & Céline Nauges & Vangelis Tzouvelekas, 2006. "Technology Adoption under Production Uncertainty: Theory and Application to Irrigation Technology," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(3), pages 657-670.
    28. Farsi, Mehdi, 2010. "Risk aversion and willingness to pay for energy efficient systems in rental apartments," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 3078-3088, June.
    29. Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bernasek, Alexandra, 1998. "Are Women More Risk Averse?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 620-630, October.
    30. Liran Einav & Amy Finkelstein & Iuliana Pascu & Mark R. Cullen, 2012. "How General Are Risk Preferences? Choices under Uncertainty in Different Domains," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2606-2638, October.
    31. Min, Jihoon & Azevedo, Inês L. & Michalek, Jeremy & de Bruin, Wändi Bruine, 2014. "Labeling energy cost on light bulbs lowers implicit discount rates," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 42-50.
    32. Train, Kenneth, 1985. "Discount rates in consumers' energy-related decisions: A review of the literature," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 10(12), pages 1243-1253.
    33. Erdem, Cumhur & Sentürk, Ismail & Simsek, Türker, 2010. "Identifying the factors affecting the willingness to pay for fuel-efficient vehicles in Turkey: A case of hybrids," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 3038-3043, June.
    34. Greene, William, 2010. "Testing hypotheses about interaction terms in nonlinear models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 291-296, May.
    35. Sanstad, Alan H & Blumstein, Carl & Stoft, Steven E, 1995. "How high are option values in energy-efficiency investments?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(9), pages 739-743, September.
    36. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
    37. Reddy, Sudhakar & Painuly, J.P, 2004. "Diffusion of renewable energy technologies—barriers and stakeholders’ perspectives," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 29(9), pages 1431-1447.
    38. Walls, Margaret & Palmer, Karen & Gerarden, Todd, 2013. "Is Energy Efficiency Capitalized into Home Prices? Evidence from Three US Cities," Discussion Papers dp-13-18, Resources For the Future.
    39. Greiner, Romy & Patterson, Louisa & Miller, Owen, 2009. "Motivations, risk perceptions and adoption of conservation practices by farmers," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 99(2-3), pages 86-104, February.
    40. Schleich, Joachim, 2009. "Barriers to energy efficiency: A comparison across the German commercial and services sector," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 2150-2159, May.
    41. Chie Hanaoka & Hitoshi Shigeoka & Yasutora Watanabe, 2015. "Do Risk Preferences Change? Evidence from Panel Data before and after the Great East Japan Earthquake," NBER Working Papers 21400, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    42. Verboven, Frank, 1999. "The Markets for Gasoline and Diesel Cars in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 2069, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    43. Hassett, Kevin A. & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 1993. "Energy conservation investment : Do consumers discount the future correctly?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 710-716, June.
    44. Glenn W. Harrison & Eric Johnson & Melayne M. McInnes & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2005. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 897-901, June.
    45. Bocquého, G. & Jacquet, F., 2010. "The adoption of switchgrass and miscanthus by farmers: Impact of liquidity constraints and risk preferences," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 2598-2607, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Olsthoorn, Mark & Schleich, Joachim & Gassmann, Xavier & Faure, Corinne, 2017. "Free riding and rebates for residential energy efficiency upgrades: A multi-country contingent valuation experiment," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(S1), pages 33-44.
    2. Schleich, Joachim & Faure, Corinne & Gassmann, Xavier, 2017. "Household electricity contract and provider switching in the EU," Working Papers "Sustainability and Innovation" S14/2017, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
    3. 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.
    4. repec:eee:joepsy:v:62:y:2017:i:c:p:313-328 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:kap:jcopol:v:40:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10603-017-9361-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ramos, A. & Gago, A. & Labandeira, X. & Linares, P., 2015. "The role of information for energy efficiency in the residential sector," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(S1), pages 17-29.
    7. Urs Fischbacher & Simeon Schudy & Sabrina Teyssier, 2015. "Heterogeneous Preferences and Investments in Energy Saving Measures," TWI Research Paper Series 95, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    8. Volland, Benjamin, 2017. "The role of risk and trust attitudes in explaining residential energy demand: Evidence from the United Kingdom," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 14-30.
    9. Qiu, Yueming & Colson, Gregory & Wetzstein, Michael E., 2017. "Risk preference and adverse selection for participation in time-of-use electricity pricing programs," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 126-142.
    10. repec:eee:enepol:v:113:y:2018:i:c:p:487-499 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Ivan Tilov & Benjamin Volland & Mehdi Farsi, 2017. "Interactions in Swiss Households' Energy Demand: A Holistic Approach," IRENE Working Papers 17-11, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.
    12. Zack Dorner & Daniel A. Brent & Anke Leroux, 2016. "Preferences for Intrinsically Risky Attributes," Monash Economics Working Papers 32-16, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    13. Christoph Bühren & Maria Daskalakis, 2015. "Do not incentivize eco-friendly behavior - Go for a competition to go green!," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201534, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    14. Cristina Cattaneo, 2018. "Internal and External Barriers to Energy Efficiency: Made-to-Measure Policy Interventions," Working Papers 2018.08, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    15. Dorner, Zach & Brent, Daniel A. & Leroux, Anke, 2016. "Eliciting Risk Preferences for Intrinsic Attributes," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 236644, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    16. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:8:p:1475-:d:108954 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:eee:eneeco:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:328-336 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Appliances; Energy efficiency; Home energy improvements; Retrofit; Risk preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • Q29 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Other
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:107:y:2014:i:c:p:216-229. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.