The Effect of Information Nudges on Energy Saving: Observations from a Randomized Field Experiment in Finland

42 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2021

See all articles by Enni Ruokamo

Enni Ruokamo

Government of the Republic of Finland - Finnish Environment Institute

Teemu Meriläinen

University of Oulu - Department of Economics, Accounting and Finance; Government of the Republic of Finland - Finnish Environment Institute

Santtu Karhinen

Government of the Republic of Finland - Finnish Environment Institute

Jouni Räihä

University of Oulu - Department of Economics, Accounting and Finance

Päivi Suur-Uski

Motiva Ltd

Leila Timonen

Motiva Ltd

Rauli Svento

University of Oulu - Department of Economics, Accounting and Finance

Date Written: June 28, 2021

Abstract

Field experiments have shown that information nudging can help households to save energy, however, the effectiveness varies depending on aspects such as information content, delivery mode and study area. This article evaluates the impacts of information nudges on residential electricity consumption with a randomized field experiment. This opt-in experiment was conducted in Finland. Information was administered via monthly email newsletters and an online energy service platform. The aim is to find out whether i) energy saving tips combined with and without online energy service platform providing electricity consumption information, and ii) peer comparisons (i.e., social norm) influence households’ electricity consumption. The results show a high seasonal variation in the treatment effects within the groups who were registered users of the online energy service platform. Those with access to usage feedback and versatile energy savings tips (without the social norm comparisons) reduced their electricity consumption around 10% in wintertime. The results imply challenges in encouraging energy saving behaviour among households less interested in following their electricity consumption.

Keywords: Behaviour, Conservation, Electricity, Energy advice, Experiment, Finland, Intervention, Nudging, Randomized field trial, Social norm

JEL Classification: C33, D12, L94, Q41

Suggested Citation

Ruokamo, Enni and Meriläinen, Teemu and Karhinen, Santtu and Räihä, Jouni and Suur-Uski, Päivi and Timonen, Leila and Svento, Rauli, The Effect of Information Nudges on Energy Saving: Observations from a Randomized Field Experiment in Finland (June 28, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3875459 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3875459

Enni Ruokamo (Contact Author)

Government of the Republic of Finland - Finnish Environment Institute ( email )

Latokartanonkaari 11
Helsinki, 00790
Finland

Teemu Meriläinen

University of Oulu - Department of Economics, Accounting and Finance ( email )

PO Box 4600
FIN-90014 University of Oulu
Finland

HOME PAGE: http://www.oulu.fi/yliopisto/tutkija/teemu-merilainen

Government of the Republic of Finland - Finnish Environment Institute ( email )

00260 Helsinki
Finland

Santtu Karhinen

Government of the Republic of Finland - Finnish Environment Institute ( email )

00260 Helsinki
Finland

Jouni Räihä

University of Oulu - Department of Economics, Accounting and Finance ( email )

P.O. Box 4600
Oulu, 90014
Finland

Päivi Suur-Uski

Motiva Ltd ( email )

Finland

Leila Timonen

Motiva Ltd ( email )

Finland

Rauli Svento

University of Oulu - Department of Economics, Accounting and Finance ( email )

PO Box 4600
FIN-90014 University of Oulu
Finland

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