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What's Driving Sustainable Energy Consumption? A Survey of the Empirical Literature

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  • Wüstenhagen, Rolf
  • Schleich, Joachim
  • Rennings, Klaus
  • Heinzle, Stefanie
  • Brohmann, Bettina

Abstract

The focus of the paper is on the individual decision of energy consumers, and it's relation to sustainable consumption. Consumer behavior is based on individual decisions, but it depends largely on supply-side measures and an appropriate infrastructure (e.g. the availability of energy-efficient household equipment) and on socio-political factors (e.g. if systems of emissions trading or eco-labels exist). We derive some hypotheses on the determinants of sustainable energy consumption in residential buildings from a review of the empirical literature on the diffusion of energy efficient activities. While there is agreement on a lot of factors, the role of environmental attitudes and environmental behavior remains uncertain. Thus research needs are derived respectively. Finally, we specify these hypotheses for three specific technologies of sustainable energy consumption: Domestic appliances, micro-power and green electricity.

Suggested Citation

  • Wüstenhagen, Rolf & Schleich, Joachim & Rennings, Klaus & Heinzle, Stefanie & Brohmann, Bettina, 2009. "What's Driving Sustainable Energy Consumption? A Survey of the Empirical Literature," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-013, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:7538
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Horbach, Jens & Rammer, Christian & Rennings, Klaus, 2012. "Determinants of eco-innovations by type of environmental impact — The role of regulatory push/pull, technology push and market pull," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 112-122.
    2. Mills, Bradford & Schleich, Joachim, 2012. "Residential energy-efficient technology adoption, energy conservation, knowledge, and attitudes: An analysis of European countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 616-628.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sustainable consumption; consumer behaviour; domestic appliances; micro-power; green electricity;

    JEL classification:

    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices

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