Promoting household energy conservation
It is commonly assumed that households must change their behaviour to reduce the problems caused by increasing levels of fossil energy use. Strategies for behaviour change will be more effective if they target the most important causes of the behaviour in question. Therefore, this paper first discusses the factors influencing household energy use. Three barriers to fossil fuel energy conservation are discussed: insufficient knowledge of effective ways to reduce household energy use, the low priority and high costs of energy savings, and the lack of feasible alternatives. Next, the paper elaborates on the effectiveness and acceptability of strategies aimed to promote household energy savings. Informational strategies aimed at changing individuals' knowledge, perceptions, cognitions, motivations and norms, as well as structural strategies aimed at changing the context in which decisions are made, are discussed. This paper focuses on the psychological literature on household energy conservation, which mostly examined the effects of informational strategies. Finally, this paper lists important topics for future research.
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