Behavioral Intervention to Conserve Energy in the Workplace

FAERE Working Paper Series No. 2020.21

29 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2021 Last revised: 24 Mar 2021

See all articles by Valeria Fanghella

Valeria Fanghella

Grenoble Ecole de Management

Giovanna D'Adda

Milano University

Massimo Tavoni

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: November 2, 2020


This study investigates the effect of a large-scale behavioral intervention to conserve energy in the workplace, consisting of an energy-saving competition among a bank’s branches. More than 500 branches were involved for a period of one year. Using a difference-in-difference estimation, we find that the competition significantly reduces monthly consumption outside the work schedule (by 7 percent), but that overall energy use does not change significantly (reduction of 2.5 percent). Branch characteristics do not lead to differentiated program response, in stark contrast with the residential sector. In the same setting, we also evaluate a technological intervention automating building energy management. The renovation leads to significant energy savings (of 18 percent), also concentrated outside the main work schedule. Our results stress the importance of considering contextual characteristics when implementing behavioral programs and show potential overlaps with smart technology investments.

Keywords: Behavioral intervention, Energy conservation, Workplace, Difference-in-difference, Energy efficiency

JEL Classification: C93, D91, H32, Q41

Suggested Citation

Fanghella, Valeria and D'Adda, Giovanna and Tavoni, Massimo, Behavioral Intervention to Conserve Energy in the Workplace (November 2, 2020). FAERE Working Paper Series No. 2020.21, Available at SSRN: or

Valeria Fanghella (Contact Author)

Grenoble Ecole de Management ( email )

12 Rue Pierre Semard
Grenoble, Cedex 01 38000

Giovanna D'Adda

Milano University ( email )

Via C. Saldini 50
Milano, 20133

Massimo Tavoni

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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