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Real-time Feedback and Electricity Consumption: A Field Experiment Assessing the Potential for Savings and Persistence

Sebastien Houde, Annika Todd, Anant Sudarshan, June A. Flora , and K. Carrie Armel

Year: 2013
Volume: Volume 34
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.34.1.4
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Abstract:
Real-time information feedback delivered via technology has been reported to produce up to 20 percent declines in residential energy consumption. There are however large differences in estimates of the effect of real-time feedback technologies on energy use. In this study, we conduct a field experiment to obtain an estimate of the impact of a real-time feedback technology. Access to feedback leads to an average reduction in household electricity consumption of 5.7 percent. Significant declines persist for up to four weeks. In examining time of day reduction effects, we find that the largest reductions were observed initially at all times of the day but as time passes, morning and evening intervals show larger reductions. We find no convincing evidence that household characteristics explain heterogeneity in our treatment effects; we examine demographics, housing characteristics and psychological variables.



Under Pressure! Nudging Electricity Consumption within Firms. Feedback from a Field Experiment

Christophe Charlier, Gilles Guerassimoff, Ankinée Kirakozian, and Sandrine Selosse

Year: 2021
Volume: Volume 42
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.42.1.ccha
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Abstract:
Many economists and psychologists have studied the impact of nudges on households' pro-environmental behaviors. Interestingly, "private nudges" can be imagined for companies. Yet, studies focusing on nudging employees' energy use are rare. The objective of our paper is to explore this issue with the help of a field experiment conducted at 47 French companies' sites. Using a difference-in-difference methodology, the effects of three nudges on employees' energy conservation are tested. The first nudge, "moral appeal", stresses the responsible use of energy. The second one, "social comparison", informs employees on the energy consumption of other firms participating in the experiment. Finally, the third nudge, "stickers", alerts employees about good energy conservation practices. Our results stress the complementarity of these nudges. When implemented alone, the three nudges have no significant effects on energy consumption. However, when the moral appeal and social comparison nudges are combined with the stickers nudge, they become effective.



An Experimental Study of Monthly Electricity Demand (In)elasticity

David P. Byrne, Andrea La Nauze, and Leslie A. Martin

Year: 2021
Volume: Volume 42
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.42.2.dbyr
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Abstract:
We document substantial rigidity in household electricity demand in response to large price shocks. We partnered with an electricity retailer to run a field experiment in which randomly-selected households received discounts of up to 50% on their total electricity bill or up to 95% off their per unit cost of electricity for a full month. We show that the quantity of electricity consumed was unaffected by these discounts. Exploiting rich billing, smart meter, and survey data, we document responses that are much more inelastic than previously observed in scenarios that raise prices for a few hours or raise or lower prices for indefinitely-long periods of time. Our results hold even among subgroups that we ex-ante believed were most likely to respond.





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