Can behavioural interventions achieve energy savings in non-residential settings where users do not face the financial consequences of their behaviour? Our paper addresses this question by using high-frequency data, leveraging social comparison and responsibility assignment in a large provincial government office building with 24 floors, a total of 1008 occupants. Floors were divided into two treatments arms and a control group. Both treatment groups received regular emails encouraging recipients to turn off appliances and lights before leaving the office and weekly ranked energy consumption results by floors. Additionally, weekly "energy advocates" were assigned to each floor in treatment group two. Floors assigned to the control group received no intervention. Findings show that floors that participated only in the inter-floor competitions reduced energy consumption by 8%, 95% CI [− 0.41, − 0.02] while those additionally assigned floor-wise "energy advocates" reduced energy consumption by 13%, 95% CI [− 0.62, − 0.05] with a substantial reduction in energy use occurring after working hours. Results, however, show no statistical difference in energy consumption between treatment groups one and two. We further investigate the intervention effect for the monthly cumulative post-intervention period. Additional qualitative interviews were conducted to enable a better understanding of our results.
Sustainable Development Goals
Klege, R. A., Visser, M., Datta, S., & Darling, M. (2022). The Power of Nudging: Using Feedback, Competition, and Responsibility Assignment to Save Electricity in a Non-residential Setting. Environmental and Resource Economics. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10640-021-00639-w