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36 J. Consumer Pol'y 1 (2013)

handle is hein.journals/jrncpy36 and id is 1 raw text is: J Consum Policy (2013) 36:1-16
DOI 10.1007/s10603-012-9211-z
0 lR IVU 1     RPA
Bridging the Energy Efficiency Gap: A Field Experiment
on Lifetime Energy Costs and Household Appliances
Steffen Kallbekken - Hakon Salen-
Erlend A. T. Hermansen
Received: 29 February 2012 /Accepted: 19 September 2012 /
Published online: 2 October 2012
C Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012
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.
Keywords Energy efficiency - Field experiment - Cost disclosure - Household appliances
According to the IPCC (Metz et al. 2007, p. 13) the biggest potential for emission reductions
until 2020 lies in energy conservation and energy efficiency, but they also note that many
barriers exist against tapping this potential. It is often claimed that an energy efficiency gap
exists between actual and optimal energy use and that many cost-effective energy-efficient
technologies are not being made use of (Jaffe and Stavins 1994). This issue has received
considerable attention in the literature. According to Allcott and Mullainathan (2010, p. 1205),
what has been missing is a concerted effort to translate behavioral science insights into scaled
interventions, moving continuously from the laboratory to the field to practice. This study
contributes to that effort by testing the impact of disclosing information on lifetime energy costs
on consumer purchases of household appliances.
S. Kallbekken (E) - H. Solen  E. A. T. Hermansen
CICERO Center for International Climate and Environmental Research-Oslo, P.O. Box 1129 Blindern,
0318 Oslo, Norway
e-mail: steffen.kallbekken(a cicero.uio.no

4) Springer

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