CEP LSE RSS Contact Us YouTube Facebook Twitter

Abstract:

Journal Article
Competition and norms: A self-defeating combination?
Genevieve Alberts, Zeynep Gurguc, Pantelis Koutroumpis, Ralf Martin, Mirabelle Muûls and Tamaryn Napp September 2016

Energy Policy 96, 2016
DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2016.06.001
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421516302841


Tags: behavioural intervention; household energy demand; randomised controlled trial; information; norms; competition

This paper investigates the effects of information feedback mechanisms on electricity and heating usage at a student hall of residence in London. In a randomised control trial, we formulate different treatments such as feedback information and norms, as well as prize competition among subjects. We show that information and norms lead to a sharp – more than 20% - reduction in overall energy consumption. Because participants do not pay for their energy consumption this response cannot be driven by cost saving incentives. Interestingly, when combining feedback and norms with a prize competition for achieving low energy consumption, the reduction effect – while present initially – disappears in the long run. This could suggest that external rewards reduce and even destroy intrinsic motivation to change behaviour.

DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2016.06.001
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421516302841