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Heterogeneous preferences and the individual change to alternative electricity contracts

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  • Ziegler, Andreas

Abstract

Based on data from a large-scale computer-based survey among more than 3700 citizens in Germany, this paper empirically disentangles the determinants of the general change of electricity contracts and the specific change from any green or non-green to current green electricity contracts within the last ten years. Our econometric analysis reveals a strong relevance of behavioral factors and individual values and norms. For example, patience (which was measured by an incentivized experiment included in the survey) has a significantly positive effect on both general switches to alternative electricity contracts and specific switches to green electricity contracts. Furthermore, trust and (less robust) social preferences (also measured by an incentivized experiment) have additional significantly positive effects on the specific change to green electricity contracts. Our estimation results also imply an important role of political identification, i.e. an ecological policy orientation is strongly significantly positively correlated with the change to green electricity contracts. Furthermore, several household specific factors like relocation decisions as well as socio-demographic and socio-economic variables like household income are also relevant. The empirical analysis thus provides new explanation patterns for the phenomenon that relatively few households regularly change their electricity contracts and specifically switch to green electricity contracts, although they have high stated preferences for such changes. Our insights suggest several directions for policy and electricity suppliers to increase these switching rates. For example, the high importance of trust for the change to green electricity contracts suggests transparency initiatives of electricity suppliers to decrease concerns against renewable energies.

Suggested Citation

  • Ziegler, Andreas, 2020. "Heterogeneous preferences and the individual change to alternative electricity contracts," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:91:y:2020:i:c:s0140988320302292
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2020.104889
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    Cited by:

    1. Schleich, Joachim & Schuler, Johannes & Pfaff, Matthias & Frank, Regine, 2021. "Renewable rebound: Empirical evidence from household electricity tariff switching," Working Papers "Sustainability and Innovation" S07/2021, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
    2. Thilo K.G. Haverkamp & Heinz Welsch & Andreas Ziegler, 2022. "The Relationship between Pro-environmental Behavior, Economic Preferences, and Life Satisfaction: Empirical Evidence from Germany," MAGKS Papers on Economics 202204, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    3. Will, Christian & Lehmann, Nico & Baumgartner, Nora & Feurer, Sven & Jochem, Patrick & Fichtner, Wolf, 2022. "Consumer understanding and evaluation of carbon-neutral electric vehicle charging services," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 313(C).
    4. Daniel Engler & Gunnar Gutsche & Amantia Simixhiu & Andreas Ziegler, 2022. "Social norms and individual climate protection activities: A framed field experiment for Germany," MAGKS Papers on Economics 202230, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    5. Toshi H. Arimura & Elke D. Groh & Miwa Nakai & Andreas Ziegler, 2022. "The causal effect of private and organizational climate-related identity on climate protection activities: Evidence from a framed field experiment in Japan," MAGKS Papers on Economics 202229, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    6. Erdogan, Murside Rabia & Camgoz, Selin Metin & Karan, Mehmet Baha & Berument, M. Hakan, 2022. "The switching behavior of large-scale electricity consumers in The Turkish electricity retail market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 160(C).
    7. Emily Schulte & Fabian Scheller & Wilmer Pasut & Thomas Bruckner, 2021. "Product traits, decision-makers, and household low-carbon technology adoptions: moving beyond single empirical studies," Papers 2112.11867, arXiv.org.
    8. Feldhaus, Christoph & Lingens, Jörg & Löschel, Andreas & Zunker, Gerald, 2022. "Encouraging consumer activity through automatic switching of the electricity contract - A field experiment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 164(C).
    9. Groh, Elke D. & Ziegler, Andreas, 2022. "On the relevance of values, norms, and economic preferences for electricity consumption," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 192(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Switching electricity contracts; Green electricity; Behavioral factors; Artefactual field experiments; Individual values and norms;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General

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