Bridging the Energy Efficiency Gap: A Field Experiment on Lifetime Energy Costs and Household Appliances

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgements

Thanks to Mikkel Alme, Martine Grønlund and Åshild Indresøvde at Elkjøp for significant help with designing and implementing the experiment. Thanks to Christian Bjørnæs, Torben Mideksa, Bård Romstad, and Hege Westskog at CICERO for help with conducting the experiment and analysing the results. The project was funded by GreeNudge. Special thanks to Beate Nossum and Gunhild A. Stordalen at GreeNudge for help with making the experiment possible.

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Correspondence to Steffen Kallbekken.

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Kallbekken, S., Sælen, H. & Hermansen, E.A.T. Bridging the Energy Efficiency Gap: A Field Experiment on Lifetime Energy Costs and Household Appliances. J Consum Policy 36, 1–16 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10603-012-9211-z

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Keywords

  • Energy efficiency
  • Field experiment
  • Cost disclosure
  • Household appliances