Social influence and economic interventions to motivate energy-saving - what works better?


Various governments are implementing policies that aim to stimulate energy-saving behaviour in households.

This is particularly relevant to the use of cooling and/or heating home systems, a residential energy behaviour of significant importance in energy and climate policy.

Common behavioural interventions are based either on social influence (peer pressure) or on economic instruments. However, while particular interventions have been found to be effective in certain settings, this effectiveness is not always persistent in time or transferrable to other settings.

This lack of consensus on the interventions’ effectiveness is attributed to the fact that scholarly studies often focus on whether an intervention succeeds or fails, and not on the underlying conditions that shape each result.

In view of the above, new ESRI research provides a new perspective on the future design of such interventions, by exploring the factors that affect their effectiveness.

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