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Putting Information into Action: What Explains Follow-up on Home Energy Audits?

Author

Listed:
  • Palmer, Karen

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Walls, Margaret

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • O'Keeffe, Lucy

    () (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

Consumers often invest in information when faced with choices that have uncertain payoffs. Homeowners considering improvements or retrofits in order to lower their energy bills may decide to have a home energy audit, a professional assessment that identifies where a home is losing energy and recommends improvements that will lower energy use and costs. Follow-up on audit recommendations varies widely across households. We explore the reasons for these differences using data from a multistate survey of over 500 homeowners who have had energy audits. Our findings suggest that two sets of factors are important in explaining audit follow-up: factors related to the costs of retrofits and those related to the features and quality of the audits. Our findings have implications for policies to encourage the use of audits and suggest that the quality of the information and how it is delivered have important consequences for the role of audits in reducing energy consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Palmer, Karen & Walls, Margaret & O'Keeffe, Lucy, "undated". "Putting Information into Action: What Explains Follow-up on Home Energy Audits?," Discussion Papers dp-15-34, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-15-34
    as

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    File URL: http://www.rff.org/RFF/documents/RFF-DP-15-34.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Hunt Allcott & Dmitry Taubinsky, 2013. "The Lightbulb Paradox: Evidence from Two Randomized Experiments," NBER Working Papers 19713, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    energy efficiency; economics of information; energy retrofits;

    JEL classification:

    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • L95 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Gas Utilities; Pipelines; Water Utilities
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General

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