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The effect of information nudges on energy saving: Observations from a randomized field experiment in Finland

Enni Ruokamo (), Teemu Meriläinen, Santtu Karhinen, Jouni Räihä, Päivi Suur-Uski, Leila Timonen and Rauli Svento

Energy Policy, 2022, vol. 161, issue C

Abstract: Field experiments have shown that information nudging can help households to save energy, however, the effectiveness varies depending on aspects such as information content, delivery mode and study area. This article evaluates the impacts of information nudges on residential electricity consumption with a randomized field experiment. This opt-in experiment was conducted in Finland. Information was administered via monthly email newsletters and an online energy service platform. The aim is to find out whether i) energy saving tips combined with and without online energy service platform providing electricity consumption information, and ii) peer comparisons (i.e., social norm) influence households’ electricity consumption. The results show a high seasonal variation in the treatment effects within the groups who were registered users of the online energy service platform. Those with access to usage feedback and versatile energy savings tips (without the social norm comparisons) reduced their electricity consumption around 10% in wintertime. The results imply challenges in encouraging energy saving behavior among households less interested in following their electricity consumption.

Keywords: Behavior; Conservation; Electricity; Energy advice; Experiment; Finland; Intervention; Nudging; Randomized field trial; Social norm (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C33 D12 L94 Q41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2021.112731

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