Information Strategies for Energy Conservation: A Field Experiment in India

54 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2017

See all articles by Victor Chen

Victor Chen

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Magali A. Delmas

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Stephen Locke

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Amarjeet Singh

Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology

Date Written: September 22, 2017

Abstract

Little is known about the effectiveness of information strategies on energy conservation in developing countries. In this study, we conduct a field experiment in an apartment complex in India to test how information about electricity usage impacts the electricity consumption of urban middle class households. Our results, based on fifteen-minute electricity readings over an academic year, show that non-monetary messages that framed electricity consumption in terms of environmental and health impacts were more effective than messages emphasizing the monetary savings of reducing electricity consumption. Households in the environmental/health group accessed the online energy-monitoring dashboard more frequently and reduced their electricity usage by 18.4% relative to the control group. Households in the monetary group did not significantly alter their usage. These results about revealed preferences are contrasted with stated preferences disclosed in a survey of urban Indians who describe money, not health, as the main motivation for energy conservation. Our findings have important implications for the development non-monetary strategies for energy conservation in developing countries.

Keywords: energy, conservation behavior, information strategies, energy feedback, field experiment, health information, developing country

JEL Classification: C93, D11, I12, I18, O13, Q5, Q53, Q56, Q 57, P18, P46, P48

Suggested Citation

Chen, Victor and Delmas, Magali A. and Locke, Stephen and Singh, Amarjeet, Information Strategies for Energy Conservation: A Field Experiment in India (September 22, 2017). Energy Economics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3041459

Victor Chen

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

Magali A. Delmas (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

Stephen Locke

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

Los Angeles, CA
United States

Amarjeet Singh

Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology ( email )

Okhla, Phase III
Near Govind Puri Metro Station
New Delhi, 110020
India

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