Residential energy conservation: the effects of education and perceived behavioral control



This study examines the effects of values, norms, perceived behavioral control, and education on intentions to save energy and actual energy-saving behaviors among residential energy customers (N = 329). A linear regression with ordinary least squares (OLS) estimates showed that environmental values, energy-saving norms, and perceived behavioral control did not have uniform effects on energy behaviors and the intention to conserve was not significantly correlated with energy-using behaviors. However, there is a link between perceived behavioral control and energy-saving behaviors. Respondents with higher educational attainment had greater intentions to conserve energy and an increased likelihood of engaging in energy-conscious behavior like turning off the television more frequently. Further exploration revealed that a considerable portion of the effect of education was due to the mediating effect of perceived behavioral control and not due to increased pro-environmental values or norms.


Residential energy Theory of planned behavior Education Perceived behavioral control Mediation 



Both authors would like to thank Dr. Penelope Canan, Professor Emerita at the University of Central Florida, for her inspiration, encouragement, and mentorship, throughout this project.


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© AESS 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sociology DepartmentTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.University of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA

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