Measuring the effect of procrastination and environmental awareness on households' energy-saving behaviours: An empirical approach
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.
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.:
- Allcott, Hunt, 2011. "Social norms and energy conservation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9-10), pages 1082-1095, October.
- George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 1992. "Anomalies in Intertemporal Choice: Evidence and an Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 573-597.
- Berkhout, Peter H. G. & Muskens, Jos C. & W. Velthuijsen, Jan, 2000. "Defining the rebound effect," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 425-432, June.
- Allcott, Hunt, 2011. "Social norms and energy conservation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9), pages 1082-1095.
- Loewenstein, George, 1996. "Out of Control: Visceral Influences on Behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 272-292, March.
- Laibson, David I., 1997.
"Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting,"
4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001.
"Choice and Procrastination,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 121-160.
- Ted O' Donoghue and Matthew Rabin., 2000. "Choice and Procrastination," Economics Working Papers E00-281, University of California at Berkeley.
- Ted O' Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Choice and Procrastination," Microeconomics 0012002, EconWPA.
- O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2000. "Choice and Procrastination," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5r26k54p, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- McNamara, S. & Grubb, M., 2011. "The Psychological Underpinnings of the Consumer Role in Energy Demand and Carbon Abatement," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1126, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
- Richard H. Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save More Tomorrow (TM): Using Behavioral Economics to Increase Employee Saving," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages S164-S187, February.
- Benabou, Roland & Pycia, Marek, 2002. "Dynamic inconsistency and self-control: a planner-doer interpretation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 419-424, November.
- Dolan, P. & Hallsworth, M. & Halpern, D. & King, D. & Metcalfe, R. & Vlaev, I., 2012. "Influencing behaviour: The mindspace way," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 264-277.
- H. M. Shefrin & Richard Thaler, 1977.
"An Economic Theory of Self-Control,"
NBER Working Papers
0208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
- Battaglini, Marco & Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2003.
"Self-Control in Peer Groups,"
IDEI Working Papers
189, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Rabinovich, Anna & Webley, Paul, 2007. "Filling the gap between planning and doing: Psychological factors involved in the successful implementation of saving intention," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 444-461, August.
- Steg, Linda, 2008. "Promoting household energy conservation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 4449-4453, December.
- E. S. Phelps & R. A. Pollak, 1968. "On Second-Best National Saving and Game-Equilibrium Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 185-199.
- Hargreaves, Tom & Nye, Michael & Burgess, Jacquelin, 2010. "Making energy visible: A qualitative field study of how householders interact with feedback from smart energy monitors," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 6111-6119, October.
- 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.
- Oikonomou, V. & Becchis, F. & Steg, L. & Russolillo, D., 2009. "Energy saving and energy efficiency concepts for policy making," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4787-4796, November.
- Henry Kaiser, 1974. "An index of factorial simplicity," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 39(1), pages 31-36, March.
- Wilhite, Harold & Nakagami, Hidetoshi & Masuda, Takashi & Yamaga, Yukiko & Haneda, Hiroshi, 1996. "A cross-cultural analysis of household energy use behaviour in Japan and Norway," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(9), pages 795-803, September.
- 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.
- Barr, Stewart & Gilg, Andrew W & Ford, Nicholas, 2005. "The household energy gap: examining the divide between habitual- and purchase-related conservation behaviours," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(11), pages 1425-1444, July.
- Peter Kooreman & Henriëtte Prast, 2010. "What Does Behavioral Economics Mean for Policy? Challenges to Savings and Health Policies in the Netherlands," De Economist, Springer, vol. 158(2), pages 101-122, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:66:y:2014:i:c:p:249-256. 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: (Shamier, Wendy)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.