The effect of information nudges on energy saving: observations from a randomized field experiment in Finland

Electricity remains a relatively poorly understood area of spending among households, and households are likely to miss out on potential energy savings. This is where information related behavioural interventions can have a meaningful role. Successful trials have shown the potential of behavioural interventions to induce electricity saving.

Finland is different from most of the previously studied areas due to its northern location and being a part of the Nordic energy market with 100 % smart meter deployment. This study evaluates the effectiveness of information nudges on residential electricity consumption among Finnish households. We conducted a randomized field experiment to study whether i) email energy saving letters, ii) an online energy service platform, and iii) a provision constantly updating comparative electricity consumption information (i.e. social norm) influence households’ electricity consumption.

The impacts of information treatments have been studied extensively and estimated effect size varies from 2% to over 7% with more robust results showing savings from 2-4%. The effects are context specific, and the interventions vary in their scalability. This study contributes to the existing research with an experimental setting, which allows for analyzing the treatment effects between users and non-users of an online energy service platform. No randomized field experiments on information nudges have been conducted in Finland before and generally we lack knowledge on the topic in the distinct Nordic climate conditions with high seasonal variation in the energy consumption. The intervention employed emails and an online service as channels for the information provision. These solutions are highly scalable and have not been studied as extensively.

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The effect of information nudges on energy saving: observations from a randomized field experiment in Finland

Sectors: Buildings, Power sector

Country / Region: Finland

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

In 1 user collection: Session 5a: Behaviour integration into energy modelling for policy development – 2

Knowledge Object: Publication / Report

Publishing year: 2020

Author: Ruokamo, E., Meriläinen, T., Karhinen, S., Räihä, J., Suur-Uski, P., Timonen, L., Svento, R.


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