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Why does real-time information reduce energy consumption?

John Lynham, Kohei Nitta (), Tatsuyoshi Saijo () and Nori Tarui ()
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Kohei Nitta: Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa

No 201419, Working Papers from University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics

Abstract: A number of studies have estimated how much energy conservation is achieved by providing households with real-time information on energy use via in-home displays. However, none of these studies tell us why real-time information changes energy-use behavior. We explore the causal mechanisms through which real-time information affects energy consumption by conducting a randomized-control trial with residential households. The experiment disentangles two competing mechanisms: (i) learning about the energy consumption of various activities, the "learning effect", versus (ii) having a constant reminder of energy use, the "saliency effect". We have two main results. First, we find a statistically significant treatment effect from receiving real-time information. Second, we find that learning plays a more prominent role than saliency in driving energy conservation. This finding supports the use of energy conservation programs that target consumer knowledge regarding energy use.

Keywords: energy efficiency; energy conservation; real-time information; experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D03 D12 Q41 Q48 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 40 pages
Date: 2014-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-ene and nep-exp
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http://www.economics.hawaii.edu/research/workingpapers/WP_14-19.pdf First version, 2014 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Why does real-time information reduce energy consumption? (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Why does real-time information reduce energy consumption? (2014) Downloads
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