Electricity Conservation Campaigns and High Consumption Appliances - A Field Experiment on Feedback, Goal Setting and Incentives

21 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2021

See all articles by Natalia Borzino

Natalia Borzino

ETH Zürich

Kathrin Schmitt

Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg

Jan Schmitz

Radboud University Nijmegen - Department of Economics

Renate Schubert

ETH Zürich - Center for Economic Research

Verena Tiefenbeck

ETH Zürich

Date Written: December 2, 2021

Abstract

Feedback interventions are considered a promising instrument to promote
energy conservation among households and thus, to mitigate climate change. Need. However,
it remains unclear whether their effectiveness can be increased by incentivizing the
pursuit of energy-savings goals. In this paper, we report the results
of a randomized control trial with 442 households over eight months in Singapore. We
randomly combine energy consumption feedback reports with specific energy savings goals
and two types of incentives: i. monetary incentives for the household and ii. environmental
incentives in the form of donations to an environmental organization. Results.
The combination of feedback and goal setting significantly reduced household electricity
consumption by approximately 16 percent compared with the control group. Treatment
effects persisted in the post-intervention period. Additional monetary, or environmental
incentives did not further reduce the electricity consumption in our sample. Importantly,
our results point to a partial shift in consumption from high- to low-electricity consumption
appliances. Our findings suggest that (low cost) behavioral interventions should
be specially targeted at high-electricity consuming appliances and that the availability
of more energy-efficient alternative technologies may help to make behavioral electricity
savings campaigns successful. Behavioral interventions and efficient technologies
may thus be important complements in combating climate change.

Keywords: energy conservation; incentives; feedback; goal-setting; field experiment

JEL Classification: Q50, Q40, C93, D91

Suggested Citation

Borzino, Natalia and Schmitt, Kathrin and Schmitz, Jan and Schubert, Renate and Tiefenbeck, Verena, Electricity Conservation Campaigns and High Consumption Appliances - A Field Experiment on Feedback, Goal Setting and Incentives (December 2, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3976154 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3976154

Natalia Borzino

ETH Zürich ( email )

Zürichbergstrasse 18
8092 Zurich, CH-1015
Switzerland

Kathrin Schmitt

Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg ( email )

Jan Schmitz (Contact Author)

Radboud University Nijmegen - Department of Economics ( email )

Nijmegen, 6500 HK
Netherlands

Renate Schubert

ETH Zürich - Center for Economic Research ( email )

Weinbergstr. 35
Zurich 8092
Switzerland

Verena Tiefenbeck

ETH Zürich ( email )

Rämistrasse 101
ZUE F7
Zürich, 8092
Switzerland

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