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Money doesn’t matter! Householders’ intentions to reduce standby power are unaffected by personalised pecuniary feedback

Buchanan, Kathryn and Russo, Riccardo (2019) 'Money doesn’t matter! Householders’ intentions to reduce standby power are unaffected by personalised pecuniary feedback.' PLoS One, 14 (10). ISSN 1932-6203

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Many researchers have examined whether giving people feedback about their energy use can lead them to decrease it. However, to date no consensus has been reached about which type of eco-feedback is the most effective. We aim to test the efficacy of different feedback techniques by providing participants with personalised information about the annual monetary costs of their home’s standby power usage (i.e., appliances that consume electricity despite not being actively used). Using a sample of 708 participants we tested the following feedback strategies: advice, disaggregation, loss vs gain framing, social norms, and collective information. We measured the impact of each of these feedback conditions on knowledge and intention to change behaviour, and compared them to a control condition. Using both frequentist and Bayesian analyses, we found that relative to the control condition all the feedback strategies led participants to report significant gains in knowledge. Yet, neither the additional knowledge gains, nor the feedback approach used significantly affected behavioural intentions. Consequently, the results suggest that while a wide range of feedback strategies emphasizing the financial impact of standby power consumption can effectively improve knowledge, this approach alone is insufficient in inciting intentions to change energy consumption behaviours.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Data Availability: All relevant data are available from
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, School of
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2019 16:19
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2021 22:15

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