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Is the Monster Green-Eyed, or just Green? Assessing the Impact of Group Cohesion and Environmental Attitudes on Energy Conservation Habits

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  • Mike Brock

    (University of East Anglia)

Abstract

Using tools from behavioural economics and psychology to establish non-financial ways to incentivise people to reduce domestic energy usage has become a popular and ever-expanding area of research. This study builds upon the existing literature by providing subjects with energy performance information at group-level in a controlled field experiment setting. Results suggest that the provision of relative information does stimulate energy-conserving behaviour, with this being most pronounced among those who held pre-trial preferences for sustainable living. These variations in usage and responsiveness indicate that the attitudes and structure of social groups are key drivers in determining the extent to which behavioural change is achievable. This in turn has relevance for energy policy, and implies that whilst both regulators and firms could improve consumer welfare and competition within the industry by issuing relative information on performance, the role of group cohesion and affiliation could heavily determine the magnitude of these benefits.

Suggested Citation

  • Mike Brock, 2018. "Is the Monster Green-Eyed, or just Green? Assessing the Impact of Group Cohesion and Environmental Attitudes on Energy Conservation Habits," University of East Anglia School of Economics Working Paper Series 2018-04, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  • Handle: RePEc:uea:ueaeco:2018_04
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Energy Monitoring; Behavioural Nudges; Energy Economics; Group Co-ordination; Sustainability; Environmental Economics;

    JEL classification:

    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities

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