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Appliance-based solar certificates: A new way of going green

Swen J. Kühne, Ester Reijnen and Reto Ritter

Energy Policy, 2021, vol. 148, issue PB

Abstract: In recent years, an increasing amount of solar energy has been produced around the globe, but too few consumers actually buy it. Three studies now show how this purchase can be promoted with an approach similar to the carbon offset program in aviation. After a fictitious purchase of differently priced appliances (e.g. electric toothbrush or TV set) in an online store, participants could buy a solar certificate for this appliance, whereby its price depended on the appliance's energy consumption as well as the selected term (e.g. 1 or 3 years) of the certificate. By purchasing such a certificate, the amount of solar energy consumed by this appliance for the selected term would be fed into the Swiss electricity grid. Study 1 showed that participants were willing to buy such a certificate, especially certificates with longer terms. That willingness, however, depended on the “solar certificate price/appliance price” ratio. While Study 2 showed that this purchase is influenced by promotions (e.g., a specific reduction in price), Study 3 showed that this purchase did not lead to a less environmentally friendly behavior afterwards. Appliance-based solar certificates easily available at the point of sale can encourage consumers to buy more solar energy.

Keywords: Solar electricity certificate; Nudge; Consumer behavior; WTP; Renewable energy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2020.111986

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