Competition and norms: a self-defeating combination?
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.
1 September 2016
Energy Policy 96, pp.504-523, 2016
This Journal article is published under the centre's Growth programme.
This publication comes under the following theme: Clean growth