عوامل موثر بر رفتار صرفه جویی در انرژی خانوارهای شهری در استان جیانگ سو
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|26933||2013||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||8130 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Energy Policy, Volume 62, November 2013, Pages 665–675
In this research, the willingness of households to adopt different energy-saving behavior has been analyzed, and factors influencing energy-saving behavior in Jiangsu Province, China, have been examined. The study builds on a broad and practical conceptual framework that embraces three types of energy-saving behavior and four dimensions of influencing factors, including socio-demographics, energy-saving awareness, behavioral ability, and situational factors. The empirical results are based on an Internet survey that was sent out to 638 households. The results indicate that socio-demographic characteristics, including age, gender, income level, household structure, and educational background, are all important factors influencing energy-saving behavior. At present, respondents adopt the usage-reduction type of behavior more often than the other two types, which require a greater capacity to pay for energy-efficient products and a higher level of energy-saving awareness. Situational factors have significant positive moderating effects when the variables of behavioral ability and energy-saving awareness act on energy-saving behavior. In addition, the results also show that spatial differences exist among the three regions of Jiangsu Province. Finally, some implications of these results for the design of future incentive policies and measures to encourage energy-saving behavior are presented.
Global climate control has recently emerged as an important international issue. However, in China, economic growth and improvements in living standards are leading to higher household energy demand and consumption (Ouyang and Hokao, 2009, Wang et al., 2011, Wang et al., 2012a, Song et al., 2013 and Yue et al., 2013). Promoting energy-efficient technology and new energy development is not sufficient to solve the problems of high energy consumption and environmental pollution. However, changing people′s energy-consumption behavior can potentially make a great contribution towards solving the problem (Ouyang and Hokao, 2009, Abrahamse et al., 2007 and Feng et al., 2010). Consequently, energy conservation by individuals has become a significant focus for the research worldwide. Household energy usage in China accounted for about 10% of total energy consumption in 2010 (NBSC, 2012) and about 7% in Jiangsu Province in 2011 (BSJS, 2012). Although these percentages are not larger, comparing with those in developed countries, the lack of energy resources to meet the demand highlights the importance of household energy usage in China, especially in Jiangsu Province which has a high-carbon energy-consumption structure. Urban energy consumption across China accounted for approximately 60% of all usage; however, in Jiangsu Province, it accounted for about 82% (DES, 2011). Urban usage is a representative of end-user energy consumption in modern Chinese society to some extent; consequently, urban residents have a great potential to impact energy consumption. Divided regions in China have different economic development and energy efficiency (Wang et al., 2012b). Households also have widely differing patterns of energy consumption which are related to income levels, types of dwellings, household compositions, locations, and other factors (Druckman and Jackson, 2008 and O′Doherty et al., 2008). The southern, central, and northern regions of Jiangsu Province exhibit clear regional differences in many aspects, including the physical geographic environment, levels of economic development, and cultural awareness. In 2011, the southern region produced a per capita GDP of 69,278 yuan, while the central region produced 39,263 yuan and the northern region produced 23,835 yuan (BSJS, 2012). Differences in households′ energy-saving behavior might therefore exist in different regions. Energy-saving behavior has generally been divided into two fundamental categories: habitual actions (e.g., direct curtailment and adjustment behavior, changes in usage habits) and purchasing activities (e.g., energy-efficient technology) ( Black et al., 1985, Dillman et al., 1983, Stern, 1992, Van Raaij and Verhallen, 1983 and Barr et al., 2005). Purchasing activities reduce energy usage by investing in technical equipment without changing the lifestyles ( Gyberg and Palm, 2009). For example, consumers are willing to pay more for appliances with energy-efficiency labels ( Shen and Saijo, 2009, Mills and Schleich, 2010 and Gaspar and Antunes, 2011). Energy consumers can also be segmented into six groups: the idealistic, the selfless, the thrifty, the convenience-oriented, the indifferent, and the well-being-oriented energy consumer ( Sütterlin et al., 2011). Research on household energy use and energy-saving behavior has found that several types of factors can influence energy-usage behavior. For example, socio-demographics, moral norms, various incentives and barriers, energy-saving awareness and attitudes, regulations and policies, informational and promotional activities were considered as the important influencing factors (e.g., Olson, 1981, Winett et al., 1985, Steg, 2008, Stern, 1992, Kang et al., 2012, Black et al., 1985, DeWaters and Powers, 2011 and Dias et al., 2004). Energy-saving behavior is strongly associated with the environmental attitudes, which are in turn associated with environmental beliefs, social norms, and community influence ( Gadenne et al., 2011 and Martinsson et al., 2011). Personal norms that affect willingness to change behavior are influenced by values and problems awareness ( Nordlund and Garvill, 2003 and Thøgersen and Grønhøj, 2010). Inability, unwillingness, and social obstacles are regarded as the primary barriers to changing household behavior patterns, according to psychological and behavioral studies of consumption and environmental awareness ( Vringer et al., 2007). However, according to Poortinga et al. (2003), the physical characteristics of energy-saving measures are as important as social and psychological factors in influencing household acceptability of energy-saving measures. The effects of information and various types of feedback on energy-saving behavior have spurred a large number of research studies to focus (e.g., Brandon and Lewis, 1999, Van Houwelingen and Van Raaij, 1989 and Weenig et al., 1990). Policies designed to increase information availability may be as important in swaying household behavioral patterns as other policy measures such as taxes, subsidies, and infrastructure provision ( EK and Söderholm, 2010). Research shows that providing households with information on their actual energy usage is one way to induce energy conservation without having to purchase more efficient appliances ( Ueno et al., 2006a and Ueno et al., 2006b). Energy-consumption behavior and knowledge can be successfully affected by a combination of interventions, including tailored information, individual goal-setting, and personalized feedback to help people to think more holistically about the personal, social, and technological dimensions of energy conservation (Abrahamse et al., 2007 and McCalley and Midden, 2002). Another study has found that interactive interviews integrated with energy-accounting software can help the participants to achieve this kind of holistic thinking (Goldblatt et al., 2005). Similarly, an interactive and scalable Web-based tool can overcome the lack of personalization that characterizes many energy-saving campaigns (Benders et al., 2006). Almost all types of interventions used to change energy-usage behavior have varying degrees of success. For example, policies providing rewards for saving energy are effective over short time periods as long as feedback is given frequently (Abrahamse et al., 2005). The norm activation model can also significantly stimulate energy savings (Abrahamse and Steg, 2009 and Allcott, 2011). Studies have also found that group-level feedback and peer education can also lead individuals to modify their behavior even without economic reward (Carrico and Riemer, 2011). Environmental information on climate change and customized household energy-saving advices are not always effective without support from family and social networks, as well as supportive government policies (Bartiaux, 2008). Although these dimensions of influencing factors have been identified in many research studies, the relationships between them have received little attention. As for the relationships between the factors, when formulating energy-saving systems to achieve sustainable development while maintaining consumers′ quality of life, decision-makers, technical experts, stakeholders, and the public should deeply deliberate and communicate (Owens and Driffill, 2008 and Sardianou, 2007). At present, China′s energy-saving policy related to energy-usage reduction by residents focuses mainly on advanced energy-saving technology (e.g., provision of subsidies for purchase of energy-efficient appliances and alternative-fuel vehicles). However, this technical approach is widely considered to require large amounts of time and money, and in fact a change in habits can be fruitful without additional investment ( Ouyang and Hokao, 2009). It also remains to be clarified, for households in the different regions of Jiangsu Province, whether these factors are influential, what are their patterns of adoption, and whether there are spatial differences among the three regions. The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into the factors influencing energy-saving behavior, the mechanisms of action of these factors, the relationships among them, and the possible differences in behavior among the three regions of Jiangsu Province. In Section 2, a conceptual framework of behavioral theories and hypotheses are presented. Section 3 presents the survey design, experimental procedures, and sampling strategy. In Section 4, results of the empirical analysis are presented and discussed. Finally, in Section 5, conclusions are summarized and policy implications are discussed.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study has analyzed the differences in households′ willingness to adopt three types of energy-saving behavior types in Jiangsu Province. The influencing factors of energy-saving behavior and the spatial differences in the three regions were also examined to obtain deep insights into how to guide and stimulate the public to adopt energy-saving behavior. The conceptual framework and its practically based construction method could be used in other regions after improvements. The following valuable conclusions, suggestions for further study, and statements about implications for governments and organizations can be made on the basis of this paper. As for social-demographics first, our study find out that policies guiding energy conservation could be with different emphases in different groups. For example, women and older people are the main groups that have more interpersonal interaction about energy conservation with others in the survey area. Therefore, publications and activities related to energy saving could be more effective if launched in the groups of women and older people. For older people who prefer to adopt usage-reduction behavior, but are lack of energy-saving knowledge and education about how to save energy could be provided. The middle-aged group has high consuming power to buy energy-efficient products, but less time and energy to engage in usage reduction and interaction. Introductions of and incentive programs for energy-efficient products could be implemented with this as the main target group. Due to significant differences among the groups in income and level of life pressure, payment capacity is an important factor influencing energy-efficiency promotion behavior. Subsidies on energy-efficient products could improve the payment capacity of people at lower income levels. In addition, appropriate education about energy conservation and environmental protection could also be beneficial. Second, at present, usage-reduction behavior is adopted more frequently than the other two types of behavior for a variety of reasons. The skills and announcements in everyday life could be widely publicized to improve it. Moreover, more attention could be paid to stimulating efficiency-promotion behavior which is more scientific and effective. Publicity, education and incentives to the publics are necessary. Related policy also could be made to enable people to purchase and use more efficient appliances. Interpersonal interaction behavior is an efficient way to appeal more participants of energy saving and develop energy-saving culture. Governments and communities could provide more opportunity and place to enable people to share their experience. Third, the policies and measures could pay attention on fostering residents′ responsibility for energy saving, and energy concepts, which have greater influence on three types of energy-saving behavior. Promulgating the behavioral knowledge, standardizing social norms and reward and punishment mechanisms is also needed. As the situational factors have obvious moderating effects, certain policies and measures to improve the ability to save energy and to instill a culture of energy conservation could assist the public to save energy more effectively. The correlations between energy-saving behavior and its influencing factors imply that motivations on the spiritual and material levels are both vitally important. Governments should pay more attention to improving energy-saving awareness and ability as well as to external interventions based on the situational factors because of their significant moderating effects. Reasonable publicity and guidance to foster the energy-saving social morality could be carried out extensively. Finally, the spatial differences were found to be existing in the three regions of Jiangsu Province. Policies and measures should be carried out in the whole province and adjusted, according to local conditions. Furthermore, the results also imply that appropriate and corresponding policies and measures could be placed particular emphasis in different regions. For example, as respondents in central and northern regions are more inclined to adopt usage-reduction behavior, more education of energy-saving knowledge and skills, greater incentives and subsidies could be effective in these regions. More activities of communications on energy-saving experience could be more effective on residents in northern regions who have more time and opportunities. Besides, fostering energy-saving awareness and habits is also necessary in the whole province, especially in the northern and central regions.