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Information campaigns for residential energy conservation

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  • Andor, Mark Andreas
  • Gerster, Andreas
  • Peters, Jörg

Abstract

This paper evaluates an intervention that randomized information letters about energy efficient investments and behaviors among 120,000 customers of two utilities in Germany. We find that conservation effects differ considerably between both utilities, ranging from a precisely estimated zero effect to 1.4%. By contrast, we do not detect significant framing effects from presenting savings in monetary or ecological terms. Based on random causal forest methods, we show that the effect heterogeneity across utilities cannot be explained by socio-demographic characteristics. Our results demonstrate the importance of site-specific factors for the effectiveness of information campaigns, which has crucial implications for targeting and the ability to infer population-wide effect sizes from pilot studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Andor, Mark Andreas & Gerster, Andreas & Peters, Jörg, 2020. "Information campaigns for residential energy conservation," Ruhr Economic Papers 871, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:rwirep:871
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Imperfect information; information letters; behavioral public economics; energy efficiency; energy conservation; non-price interventions; targeting;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices

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