Thermal Imaging as Information Intervention for Saving Energy for Cooling: An Experiment in Vietnam

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As an important measure for households’ adaptation to climate change, the demand for air conditioning is increasing sharply in developing countries, which implies a larger demand for electricity and meanwhile an increasing potential for energy saving. Previous studies have shown that interventions through revealing information to individuals (e.g., peer comparison) could help consumers reduce energy consumption. However, the size of the effect is often found small and an improved way of information interventions are needed. Psychology has shown that people are easier to recall and respond to vivid visualization such as image than text, which implies that the energy visualization technology could be potential used as information intervention for energy saving. This project will conduct a randomized controlled trial in Vietnam (with around 1200 households) to investigate the effect of providing thermal images to visualize the energy loss in home during air conditioning on consumers’ electricity consumption for cooling. Using a difference-in-difference (DID) method based on the collected data, the treatment effect of the thermal imaging will be estimated. This study will provide important insights on new information interventions for saving energy for cooling and contribute to energy poverty reduction in a warming world. 

Project status
Financed by
Environment for Development initiative
Project | 6 December 2023