Information strategies and energy conservation behavior: A meta-analysis of experimental studies from 1975 to 2012
Strategies that provide information about the environmental impact of activities are increasingly seen as effective to encourage conservation behavior. This article offers the most comprehensive meta-analysis of information based energy conservation experiments conducted to date. Based on evidence from 156 published field trials and 525,479 study subjects from 1975 to 2012, we quantify the energy savings from information based strategies. On average, individuals in the experiments reduced their electricity consumption by 7.4%. Our results also show that strategies providing individualized audits and consulting are comparatively more effective for conservation behavior than strategies that provide historical, peer comparison energy feedback. Interestingly, we find that pecuniary feedback and incentives lead to a relative increase in energy usage rather than induce conservation. We also find that the conservation effect diminishes with the rigor of the study, indicating potential methodological issues in the current literature.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Gillingham, Kenneth & Newell, Richard G. & Palmer, Karen, 2009. "Energy Efficiency Economics and Policy," Discussion Papers dp-09-13, Resources For the Future.
- Kenneth Gillingham & Richard G. Newell & Karen Palmer, 2009. "Energy Efficiency Economics and Policy," NBER Working Papers 15031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Linden, Anna-Lisa & Carlsson-Kanyama, Annika & Eriksson, Bjorn, 2006. "Efficient and inefficient aspects of residential energy behaviour: What are the policy instruments for change?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(14), pages 1918-1927, September.
- T. D. Stanley & Stephen B. Jarrell, 2005. "Meta-Regression Analysis: A Quantitative Method of Literature Surveys," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 299-308, 07.
- Stanley, T D & Jarrell, Stephen B, 1989. " Meta-Regression Analysis: A Quantitative Method of Literature Survey s," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 161-170.
- Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1652-1678, December.
- Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," IDEI Working Papers 389, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Jan 2006.
- Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2006. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," Post-Print hal-00173700, HAL.
- Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2005. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," NBER Working Papers 11535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Benabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2005. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 1695, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2004. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," Working Papers 137, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics.
- Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2004. "Incentives and Prosocial Behaviour," CEPR Discussion Papers 4633, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Mullaly, Cathy, 1998. "Home energy use behaviour: a necessary component of successful local government home energy conservation (LGHEC) programs," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(14), pages 1041-1052, December.
- Newsham, Guy R. & Bowker, Brent G., 2010. "The effect of utility time-varying pricing and load control strategies on residential summer peak electricity use: A review," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 3289-3296, July.
- Burgess, Jacquelin & Nye, Michael, 2008. "Re-materialising energy use through transparent monitoring systems," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 4454-4459, December.
- Midden, Cees J. H. & Meter, Joanne F. & Weenig, Mieneke H. & Zieverink, Henk J. A., 1983. "Using feedback, reinforcement and information to reduce energy consumption in households: A field-experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 65-86.
- McCalley, L.T., 2006. "From motivation and cognition theories to everyday applications and back again: the case of product-integrated information and feedback," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 129-137, January.
- Faruqui, Ahmad & Sergici, Sanem & Sharif, Ahmed, 2010. "The impact of informational feedback on energy consumption—A survey of the experimental evidence," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 1598-1608.
- Frank A. Wolak, 2011. "Do Residential Customers Respond to Hourly Prices? Evidence from a Dynamic Pricing Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 83-87, May.
- Horowitz, John K. & McConnell, Kenneth E., 2002. "A Review of WTA/WTP Studies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 426-447, November.
- Kempton, Willett & Montgomery, Laura, 1982. "Folk quantification of energy," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 7(10), pages 817-827.
- Jon Nelson & Peter Kennedy, 2009. "The Use (and Abuse) of Meta-Analysis in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: An Assessment," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(3), pages 345-377, March.
- Ueno, Tsuyoshi & Sano, Fuminori & Saeki, Osamu & Tsuji, Kiichiro, 2006. "Effectiveness of an energy-consumption information system on energy savings in residential houses based on monitored data," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 166-183, February.
- Peter C. Reiss & Matthew W. White, 2008. "What changes energy consumption? Prices and public pressures," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(3), pages 636-663.
- Khanna, Madhu, 2001. " Non-mandatory Approaches to Environmental Protection," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 291-324, July.
- van Houwelingen, Jeannet H & van Raaij, W Fred, 1989. " The Effect of Goal-Setting and Daily Electronic Feedback on In-home Energy Use," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 98-105, June.
- Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2013. "Energy Conservation “Nudges” And Environmentalist Ideology: Evidence From A Randomized Residential Electricity Field Experiment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 680-702, 06.
- Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2010. "Energy Conservation "Nudges" and Environmentalist Ideology: Evidence from a Randomized Residential Electricity Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 15939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Sexton, Richard J & Johnson, Nancy Brown & Konakayama, Akira, 1987. " Consumer Response to Continuous-Display Electricity-Use Monitors in a Time-of-Use Pricing Experiment," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 55-62, June.
- McCalley, L. T. & Midden, Cees J. H., 2002. "Energy conservation through product-integrated feedback: The roles of goal-setting and social orientation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 589-603, October.
- Allcott, Hunt, 2011. "Social norms and energy conservation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9-10), pages 1082-1095, October.
- Katzev, Richard D. & Johnson, Theodore R., 1983. "A social-psychological analysis of residential electricity consumption: the impact of minimal justification techniques," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 3(3-4), pages 267-284, September.
- Battalio, Raymond C, et al, 1979. "Residential Electricity Demand: An Experimental Study," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(2), pages 180-189, May.
- Steg, Linda, 2008. "Promoting household energy conservation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 4449-4453, December.
- Lijesen, Mark G., 2007. "The real-time price elasticity of electricity," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 249-258, March.
- Aigner, Dennis J & Lillard, Lee A, 1984. "Measuring Peak Load Pricing Response from Experimental Data: An Exploratory Analysis," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(1), pages 21-39, January.
- Nielsen, Lene, 1993. "How to get the birds in the bush into your hand : Results from a Danish research project on electricity savings," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(11), pages 1133-1144, November.
- Hutton, R Bruce & McNeill, Dennis L, 1981. " The Value of Incentives in Stimulating Energy Conservation," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 291-298, December.
- E. Raphael Branch, 1993. "Short Run Income Elasticity of Demand for Residential Electricity Using Consumer Expenditure Survey Data," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 111-122.
- Ahmad Faruqui & Sanem Sergici, 2010. "Household response to dynamic pricing of electricity: a survey of 15 experiments," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 193-225, October. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:61:y:2013:i:c:p:729-739. 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)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.