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The behavioural effect of electronic home energy reports: Evidence from a randomised field trial in the United States

Marisa L. Henry, Paul Ferraro () and Andreas Kontoleon

Energy Policy, 2019, vol. 132, issue C, 1256-1261

Abstract: Behavioural interventions, such as informational nudges, have become an increasingly popular strategy in demand-side energy management. In particular, home energy reports (HERs) have been used to induce behavioural change among residential consumers. These HERs typically provide peer comparisons of energy use and information about energy savings opportunities. Despite the growing prevalence of HERs and a shift from postal to electronic delivery of HERs, the experimental evidence base of their effectiveness comes primarily from HERs delivered by post from a single vendor (Opower). Whether that evidence generalises to other programmes and to the electronic delivery of HERs is unclear. This paper reports new evidence for HER effectiveness from a 12-month field experiment with approximately 9,000 households that tested electronic HER programme in a deregulated American residential electricity market. Despite high non-compliance with HER delivery, the programme reduced household electricity consumption by 2.9%, 95% CI [-5.0%, −0.76%]. This estimated reduction is consistent with prior estimated impacts of HERs delivered by post and implies electronic HERs are at least as effective as reports delivered by post in reducing electricity consumption, while they are administered at a lower cost.

Keywords: Behaviour change; Impact evaluation; Energy conservation; Nudge (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2019.06.039

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