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Measuring the effect of procrastination and environmental awareness on households' energy-saving behaviours: An empirical approach

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  • Lillemo, Shuling Chen

Abstract

A common finding in behavioural economics is that people often procrastinate, i.e., keep postponing planned tasks or decisions that require effort to execute. The effect of procrastination on inter-temporal energy choice behaviours could be even more serious because energy is an abstract, invisible and intangible commodity. This paper uses a web survey to investigate how people's procrastination propensity and environmental awareness affect their heating-energy-saving behaviours. The results indicate that people who state that they have a higher tendency to procrastinate are significantly less likely to have engaged in most of the heating energy-saving activities, especially regarding larger purchases or investments in equipment and the insulation of doors and windows. I also found a positive relationship between environmental awareness and engaging in everyday energy-saving activities such as reducing the indoor temperature. The findings suggest that measures aimed at reducing procrastination are needed to realise energy-saving potential. It is important to find ways to either bring future benefits closer to the present or to magnify the costs of delayed action. For example, one can employ certain feedback systems and commitment devices to make current gains and future costs more visible or tangible.

Suggested Citation

  • Lillemo, Shuling Chen, 2014. "Measuring the effect of procrastination and environmental awareness on households' energy-saving behaviours: An empirical approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 249-256.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:66:y:2014:i:c:p:249-256
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.10.077
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    Cited by:

    1. Ntona, Eirini & Arabatzis, Garyfallos & Kyriakopoulos, Grigorios L., 2015. "Energy saving: Views and attitudes of students in secondary education," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 1-15.
    2. Momsen, Katharina & Stoerk, Thomas, 2014. "From intention to action: Can nudges help consumers to choose renewable energy?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 376-382.
    3. Xie, Yanhua & Weng, Qihao, 2016. "Detecting urban-scale dynamics of electricity consumption at Chinese cities using time-series DMSP-OLS (Defense Meteorological Satellite Program-Operational Linescan System) nighttime light imageries," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 177-189.
    4. repec:eee:rensus:v:79:y:2017:i:c:p:39-49 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:kap:jcopol:v:40:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10603-017-9361-0 is not listed on IDEAS

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