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Providing Free Autopoweroff Plugs: Measuring the Effect on Households' Electricity Consumption through a Field Experiment

Experimental evidence of the effect of providing households with cheap energy saving technology is sparse. We present results from a field experiment in which autopoweroff plugs were provided free of charge to randomly selected households. We use propensity score matching to find treatment effects on metered electricity consumption for different types of households. We find effects for single men and couples without children, while we find no effect for single women and households with children. We suggest that this could be because of differences in saving potential (e.g. some households do not have appliances where using a plug is relevant), differences in the skills relevant for installing the technology and differences in the willingness to spend time and effort on installation. We conclude that targeting interventions at more responsive households, and tailoring interventions to target groups, can increase the efficiency of programs. Keywords: Autopoweroff plugs, Treatment effect, Energy consumption, Types of households

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Energy Specializations: Energy Modeling – Sectoral Energy Demand & Technology; Electricity – Markets and Prices ; Electricity – Policy and Regulation

JEL Codes:
Q55 - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
D42 - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design: Monopoly
E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.33.4.9

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Published in Volume 33, Number 4 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.