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

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  • Litvine, Dorian
  • Wüstenhagen, Rolf

Abstract

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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  • Litvine, Dorian & Wüstenhagen, Rolf, 2011. "Helping "light green" consumers walk the talk: Results of a behavioural intervention survey in the Swiss electricity market," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 462-474, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:3:p:462-474
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    Cited by:

    1. Engelken, Maximilian & Römer, Benedikt & Drescher, Marcus & Welpe, Isabell, 2016. "Transforming the energy system: Why municipalities strive for energy self-sufficiency," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 365-377.
    2. Kraeusel, Jonas & Möst, Dominik, 2012. "Carbon Capture and Storage on its way to large-scale deployment: Social acceptance and willingness to pay in Germany," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 642-651.
    3. Mah, Daphne Ngar-yin & van der Vleuten, Johannes Marinus & Hills, Peter & Tao, Julia, 2012. "Consumer perceptions of smart grid development: Results of a Hong Kong survey and policy implications," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 204-216.
    4. Midttun, Atle, 2012. "The greening of European electricity industry: A battle of modernities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 22-35.
    5. Sauthoff, Saramena & Danne, Michael & Mußhoff, Oliver, 2017. "To switch or not to switch? Understanding German consumers' willingness to pay for green electricity tariff attributes," DARE Discussion Papers 1707, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (DARE).
    6. repec:eee:ecolec:v:137:y:2017:i:c:p:163-172 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Tabi, Andrea & Hille, Stefanie Lena & Wüstenhagen, Rolf, 2014. "What makes people seal the green power deal? — Customer segmentation based on choice experiment in Germany," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 206-215.
    8. Gillenwater, Michael, 2013. "Probabilistic decision model of wind power investment and influence of green power market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 1111-1125.
    9. Menegaki, Angeliki, N. & Olsen, Søren Bøye & Tsagarakis, Konstantinos P., 2016. "Towards a common standard – A reporting checklist for web-based stated preference valuation surveys and a critique for mode surveys," Journal of choice modelling, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 18-50.
    10. Bigerna, Simona & Polinori, Paolo, 2014. "Italian households׳ willingness to pay for green electricity," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 110-121.
    11. Folke Ölander & John Thøgersen, 2014. "Informing Versus Nudging in Environmental Policy," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 341-356, September.
    12. repec:eee:renene:v:114:y:2017:i:pb:p:1062-1068 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Herbes, Carsten & Ramme, Iris, 2014. "Online marketing of green electricity in Germany—A content analysis of providers’ websites," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 257-266.
    14. Tabi, Andrea, 2013. "Does pro-environmental behaviour affect carbon emissions?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 972-981.
    15. Kaenzig, Josef & Heinzle, Stefanie Lena & Wüstenhagen, Rolf, 2013. "Whatever the customer wants, the customer gets? Exploring the gap between consumer preferences and default electricity products in Germany," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 311-322.
    16. Litvine, Dorian & Gazull, Laurent & Dabat, Marie-Hélène, 2014. "Assessing the potential demand for biofuel by combining Economics and Psychology: A focus on proximity applied to Jatropha oil in Africa," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 85-95.
    17. Zorić, Jelena & Hrovatin, Nevenka, 2012. "Household willingness to pay for green electricity in Slovenia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 180-187.
    18. repec:eee:enepol:v:107:y:2017:i:c:p:413-424 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Stagnaro, Carlo & Amenta, Carlo & Di Croce, Giulia & Lavecchia, Luciano, 2017. "La liberalizzazione del mercato elettrico - Una proposta per superare la maggior tutela
      [The liberalization of Italy's retail electricity market: a policy proposal]
      ," MPRA Paper 81768, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. repec:eee:enepol:v:106:y:2017:i:c:p:356-366 is not listed on IDEAS

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