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Helping "light green" consumers walk the talk: Results of a behavioural intervention survey in the Swiss electricity market

Listed author(s):
  • Litvine, Dorian
  • Wüstenhagen, Rolf

While many consumer surveys show very positive attitudes towards renewable energy, the share of consumers actually purchasing green electricity is still in the single-digit percent range in most countries. What can be done to help consumers with positive attitudes towards green electricity to "walk the talk", i.e. to behave consistently with their preferences? We developed a psychological model based on the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) to design a large-scale behavioural intervention survey with 1163 Swiss electricity consumers. Our results show that by providing information targeted at the key factors influencing the intention to purchase green electricity, namely attitudes towards purchase, social norms and perceived behavioural control, a significant increase in green electricity market share can be achieved. Our results show that price is not the only barrier to purchasing green electricity, and that information to increase the perceived benefit of buying green electricity as well as targeted communication to overcome inertia among retail electricity consumers are equally important factors.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (January)
Pages: 462-474

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:3:p:462-474
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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