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How Do Different Designs of Energy Labels Influence Purchases of Household Appliances? A Field Study in Switzerland

Marcel Stadelmann and Renate Schubert

Ecological Economics, 2018, vol. 144, issue C, 112-123

Abstract: Energy labels are a key element of energy efficiency policies. They provide information on appliances' energy consumption and aim at increasing consumers' attention to this characteristic. A well-known example is the EU Energy Label, which is required by law to be displayed on most energy-using durables in the EU as well as in Switzerland. In cooperation with a large online retailer in Switzerland we assess the impact of the EU Energy Label and of a newly designed monetary lifetime-oriented energy label in the field. We analyze private purchases of household appliances, especially freezers, vacuum cleaners and tumble dryers. We find that the display of any of the two energy labels increases the sales proportion of energy-efficient appliances compared to the absence of any energy label. At the same time, we observe a volume-effect for freezers: The average size of purchased freezers is larger when any of the two energy labels is displayed compared to the absence of any energy label. The influence of the two different energy labels is similar except for vacuum cleaners, for which monetary information might have an adverse effect.

Keywords: Energy label; Purchase decision; Energy efficiency; Information provision; Attention; Field study (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D12 D82 H31 Q41 Q48 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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