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Households’ Electrical Energy Conservation and Management: An Ecological Break-Through, or the Same Old Consumption-Growth Path?

Zbigniew Bohdanowicz (), Beata Łopaciuk-Gonczaryk (), Jarosław Kowalski () and Cezary Biele ()
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Zbigniew Bohdanowicz: Laboratory of Interactive Technologies, National Information Processing Institute, 00-608 Warsaw, Poland
Jarosław Kowalski: Laboratory of Interactive Technologies, National Information Processing Institute, 00-608 Warsaw, Poland
Cezary Biele: Laboratory of Interactive Technologies, National Information Processing Institute, 00-608 Warsaw, Poland

Energies, 2021, vol. 14, issue 20, 1-21

Abstract: We examine the motivations behind the electrical energy conservation and smart management at households to verify whether we are observing an ecological breakthrough, or a mere continuation of the well-trodden consumption-growth path. We conducted an online survey in France, Spain, Italy, and Denmark (n = 3200) on the subject of electricity use and generation. We utilized a generalized structural equation model to simultaneously test the direct reasons behind different energy-use behaviors and intentions, as well as their motivating factors. Measures to conserve electrical energy and install renewable energy equipment are not solely driven by ecological concerns; a crucial role is played by openness to new technologies, which correlates with high financial status. Saving electrical energy and new-tech eagerness go hand-in-hand with attachment to consumption and comfort. Social environment is relevant, as it allows users to converse about electricity saving with friends, and to observe their habits. Individuals may aim not to consume less energy, but to enhance their standards of living by economizing energy to fund other purchases, which limits the reduction in carbon footprint. Increasing the popularity of energy-saving solutions, therefore, might prove insufficient in the face of environmental threats and the challenges of transforming the energy market.

Keywords: attachment to consumption; energy usage flexibility; motivations; reducing greenhouse gas emissions; smart grid solutions; social networks (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q4 Q40 Q41 Q42 Q43 Q47 Q48 Q49 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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