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Incentivizing energy-efficient behavior at work: An empirical investigation using a natural field experiment on eco-driving

Dominik L. Schall and Alwine Mohnen

Applied Energy, 2017, vol. 185, issue P2, 1757-1768

Abstract: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a highly prevalent goal of public policy in many countries around the world. Convincing people to drive more fuel-efficiently (“eco-driving”) can contribute substantially to this goal and is often an integral part of policy initiatives. However, there is a lack of scientific studies on the effects of individual monetary and non-monetary incentives for eco-driving, especially in organizational settings and with regards to demonstrating causality, e.g., by using controlled experiments. We address this gap with a six months long controlled natural field experiment and introduce a monetary and a non-monetary reward for eco-driving to drivers of light commercial vehicles in different branches of a logistics company. Our results show an average reduction of fuel consumption of 5% due to a tangible non-monetary reward and suggest only a small reduction of the average fuel consumption in the equivalent monetary reward treatment. We find indications that more emphasis on the fun of achieving a higher fuel efficiency, a more emotional response to non-monetary incentives, and a higher frequency of thinking and talking about non-monetary incentives might play a role in the stronger effect of the tangible non-monetary reward. Policy implications for private and public actors are discussed.

Keywords: Eco-driving; Fuel efficiency; Energy consumption; Monetary incentive; Non-monetary incentive; Natural field experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:185:y:2017:i:p2:p:1757-1768