تاثیر عوامل مالی و غیر مالی بر رفتار صرفه جویی در انرژی:یک آزمایش میدانی در ژاپن
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|26945||2013||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||10537 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Energy Policy, Volume 63, December 2013, Pages 775–787
This study examines the influences of financial and non-financial factors on electricity-conservation behaviour. A random sample of 236 Japanese households participated in the field experiment and the participants were offered two interventions, such as monetary rewards, depending on their reduction in electricity consumption and comparative feedback. The average saving rates of the (i) reward-intervention group (5.9%) and the (ii) reward with comparative feedback group (8.2%) are statistically larger than those of the (iii) control group (1.7%). Our study demonstrates the following. First, our econometric analysis confirmed a significant response by households to financial incentives but a more inconclusive response to the treatment that provided non-financial, additional information. Second, we found a positive influence of treatment externalities across time and households on energy saving. Third, there is a heterogeneous treatment effect in the reward-intervention group, with the households having a high New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) score being more likely to respond to the reward programme and save electricity than those that do not. Finally, and most interestingly, differences in responses to the questionnaire before and after the experiment suggest that the participants had underestimated the marginal costs of saving electricity before they actually started to do so.
The ‘Great East Japan Earthquake’ of March 2011 and subsequent radiation leak from the Fukushima nuclear plant have triggered widespread concerns about the safety of nuclear plants. Since then, most of the nuclear power reactors in Japan have been shut down.1 However, replacing nuclear power with an alternative source of electricity in the short term presents great difficulty. Thus, massive attempts have already been implemented to cut the peak demand for electricity. The household sector will need to play a key role in these attempts, but significant energy saving has been less than successful in this sector.2 Many studies have examined effective intervention for encouraging household energy-saving behaviour, such as information provision, public campaigns, goal setting, feedback, comparative feedback and reward (Winett et al., 1978, Becker, 1978, McClelland and Cook, 1980, Midden et al., 1983, Brandon and Lewis, 1999, Abrahamse et al., 2005, Darby, 2006, Abrahamse et al., 2007 and Petersen et al., 2007; Ehrhardt et al., 2010; Allcott, 2011b). Abrahamse et al. (2005) reviewed 38 field studies in social and environmental psychology and evaluated the effectiveness of the above-mentioned interventions. However, it is not clear from these studies which form of intervention is most effective or which has the most enduring effect. One of the main reasons for this fact is that each study focussed on only a few factors. In order to learn about policies that can effectively and efficiently reduce energy consumption, various data and insights need to be integrated. In particular, one needs to understand, first, the motivations of consumers in implementing certain types of energy-saving behaviour. Second, a careful analysis is required of the various factors that influence household behaviour; excluding crucial factors will lead to biases in the assessment of a particular factor′s contribution to household behaviour (Van den Bergh, 2008). Therefore, an extension to the broadest possible range of policy instruments would require considering a great many factors, such as financial, non-financial and demographic. Traditionally, financial and non-financial approaches differ; hence, research efforts tend to be confined only to each academic area. Economists tend to examine the influence of external conditions – such as price, income and other socioeconomic characteristics – upon pro-environmental behaviour.3 Thus, econometric studies of pro-environmental household behaviour that include non-financial variables relating to attitudes, knowledge, perceptions and values are rare. However, studies by psychologists that include these variables exclude economic variables. Recently, several studies have considered both financial and non-financial factors in analysing households′ pro-environmental behaviour (Clark et al., 2003 and Kotchen and Moore, 2007). Within traditional economic theory, individuals maximise their own utility, subject to budget constraints, and they have little incentive to strive towards a public good, that is, pro-environmental behaviour; hence, they will choose a ‘free ride’ instead. However, this theoretical prediction is rarely shown empirically. Thus, economists have started to consider the role of non-financial factors, such as warm-glow altruism (Andreoni, 1990) and paternalistic altruism (McConnell, 1997), in motivating individuals to contribute to public goods. In the discipline of psychology, Fransson and Garling (1999) have reviewed many studies examining the relationship between non-financial variables and pro-environmental behaviour. The influence of some non-financial factors, such as attitudes, knowledge, perceptions and values, has been demonstrated in terms of pro-environmental behaviour. By means of a natural experiment, Guagnano et al. (1995) proved the hypothesis that attitudinal factors and external conditions act in combination to influence pro-environmental behaviour.4 As a result, recent developments in economics (psychology) emphasise the need to consider internal (external) influences. However, as we mentioned above, what is lacking is a systematic integrated analysis of interventions or instruments: non-financial (internal) factors, such as attitude, knowledge, motivation and perception, and financial (external) factors, such as prices (a subsidy or tax) and incomes. This study aims to evaluate the influences of both financial and non-financial factors on encouraging electricity-conservation behaviour. We conducted a field experiment based on an intervention study from October to November 2011 in randomly selected Japanese households. We attempted to separate the treatment effects and other externalities that influence electricity saving across time and households. We also examined the tests for heterogeneous treatment effects. Moreover, we examined the size and changes of the marginal costs of electricity saving from the pre- and post-questionnaire surveys. This article is organised as follows: Section 2 discusses previous studies on household energy-saving behaviour. In Section 3, the field experiment, in which we used subsidies as an economic incentive for electricity-conservation behaviour within households, is described and Section 4 discusses the empirical analysis. Section 5 analyses the marginal costs of electricity-conservation behaviour and discusses some limitations of our study, and section 6 concludes the discussion.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Through an 8-week field experiment, this study investigated the influences of financial and non-financial factors on electricity-saving behaviour among Japanese households. We randomly selected 236 Japanese households, divided into three groups: (i) reward group, (ii) reward with comparative feedback group and (iii) control group; the first two are treatment groups. From the results detailed in 3 and 4, we have shown the effectiveness of a financial factor in encouraging electricity conservation but a more inconclusive response to the non-financial additional information treatment. We also examined the influences of treatment externalities across time and households, a factor that most similar treatment studies have not considered. This experiment found these externalities to have a positive incremental impact on electricity saving; therefore, from this result, we can see that if we were to fail to account for treatment externalities, we might have overestimated the response to the treatment effect. Moreover, we tested the existence of the heterogeneous treatment effect in the reward intervention. As a consequence, households with high NEP scores are more likely to respond to the reward programme and save electricity, compared to households that do not. This result suggests that in order to save electricity, policymakers should consider combining a reward programme with measures that increase environmental awareness. Finally, the most fascinating finding of our study is that the households tended to underestimate the marginal costs of electricity conservation before they actually began to save energy. Fig. 4 in section 5 shows the change in the perceived difficulty of electricity saving before and after the experiment; this figure shows that many households felt that the actual work related to saving electricity was more difficult than they had previously expected. This result reveals that policymakers should expect the actual perceived marginal costs of energy saving to be higher than that shown in the initial survey data; it also indicates the importance of implementing an intervention programme (e.g., reward programme) that both reduces marginal costs and encourages conservation behaviour.