Employee Energy Benefits: What are They and What Effect Do They Have on Employees?

43 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2016 Last revised: 2 Aug 2016

Alexander Maki

Vanderbilt University - Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and Environment

Emmett McKinney

Vanderbilt University

Michael P. Vandenbergh

Vanderbilt University - Law School

Mark A. Cohen

Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management; Vanderbilt University - Law School; Resources for the Future

Jonathan M. Gilligan

Vanderbilt University - Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Date Written: June 28, 2016

Abstract

Employee energy benefits, such as subsidies for employee home energy audits and financial incentives for carpooling to work, aim to influence employees’ environmental behaviors outside of work. The human resources management and social psychology literatures suggest that employers may have a range of motivations for offering these benefits, that they may improve employee morale, and that they could be effective at influencing employee behavior in the home. Using an in-depth literature search and a preliminary survey of 482 U.S. adults employed full-time, we examine:

(1) how frequently employee energy benefits are offered by type,

(2) employee perceptions about why employers offer these benefits and why employees enroll, and

(3) what effect these benefits have on employee morale and behavior.

The findings highlight a vast array of employee energy benefits types and distinct employer and employee motivations, and provide preliminary evidence that these benefits could influence employee morale and environmental behavior.

Keywords: energy, employee benefits, corporate social responsibility, environmental behavior, climate change

JEL Classification: M14, M52, Q40, J30

Suggested Citation

Maki, Alexander and McKinney, Emmett and Vandenbergh, Michael P. and Cohen, Mark A. and Gilligan, Jonathan M., Employee Energy Benefits: What are They and What Effect Do They Have on Employees? (June 28, 2016). Vanderbilt Public Law Research Paper No. 16-36; Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 16-19. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2801607

Alexander Maki (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and Environment ( email )

2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240
United States

Emmett McKinney

Vanderbilt University ( email )

Nashville, TN 37240
United States

Michael P. Vandenbergh

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States

Mark A. Cohen

Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management ( email )

401 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
United States
615-322-0533 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.mba.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/mcohen.cfm

Vanderbilt University - Law School

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States

Resources for the Future ( email )

1616 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States
202-328-5000 (Phone)

Jonathan M. Gilligan

Vanderbilt University - Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences ( email )

VU Station B #351805
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37235-1805
United States
615.322.2420 (Phone)
615.322.2138 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://my.vanderbilt.edu/jonathangilligan

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