Bridging the Energy Efficiency Gap: A Field Experiment on Lifetime Energy Costs and Household Appliances
Providing consumers with information that can lead to more energy-efficient choices can help reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions while reducing costs to consumers. A natural field experiment is conducted in collaboration with an electrical retailer to test strategies for influencing sales of household appliances. The experiment involves two product categories, fridge-freezers and tumble driers. Information on lifetime energy cost of appliances is provided through a label and training of sales staff. For fridge-freezers, the authors find no significant effects. For tumble driers, the combined treatment and training treatment reduce average energy use of tumble driers sold by 4.9% and 3.4%, respectively. The effect is strongest initially, over 12% on average for the first 3 months for the combined treatment but declines over time. The effect is significant at the 5% level for the combined treatment while not significant for sales staff training.