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Harnessing Policy Complementarities to Conserve Energy: Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment

John List (), Robert Metcalfe (), Michael Price () and Florian Rundhammer ()

No 2017-05, Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series from Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University

Abstract: The literature has shown the power of social norms to promote residential energy conservation, particularly among high usage users. This study uses a natural field experiment with nearly 200,000 US households to explore whether a financial rewards program can complement such approaches. We observe strong impacts of the program, particularly amongst low-usage and lowvariance households, customers who typically are less responsive to normative messaging. Our data thus suggest important policy complementarities between behavioral and financial incentives: whereas non-pecuniary interventions disproportionately affect intense users, financial incentives are able to substantially affect the low-user, sticky households.

Keywords: social norms; financial incentives; energy conservation; field experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 Q4 D03 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene, nep-exp and nep-reg
Date: 2017-05
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Working Paper: Harnessing Policy Complementarities to Conserve Energy: Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Harnessing Policy Complementarities to Conserve Energy: Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Harnessing Policy Complementarities to Conserve Energy: Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment (2017) Downloads
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