انتخاب مصرف کننده در مورد آبگرمکن اکولوژیکی کارآمد: استراتژی بازاریابی و مفاهیم خط مشی در ژاپن
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2893||2011||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Energy Economics, Volume 33, Issue 2, March 2011, Pages 195–208
This study examines how consumers select ecologically efficient water heaters in Japan. Energy conservation in household water heating is increasingly important for reducing an amount of CO2 emission, because the share of water heating in household energy consumption is approximately 30%. Recently, Japanese households have widely used ecologically efficient electric heat pump water heaters (Eco Cute) or gas-fired water heaters (Eco Jozu). The total number of such efficient water heaters sold in Japan was more than 2.5 million at the end of 2008. This study investigates various factors and impacts of marketing strategy for promoting the appliances in Japan. We apply mixed and nested logit models to a disaggregated choice data on water heaters from 2004 to 2008. This study considers retail energy prices, a government financial support and marketing activities as important factors for appliance selection. In addition, we consider consumers' housing attributes such as floor space and age of building. This empirical study finds two business implications. One of the two implications is that an increase in an energy price may enhance a choice probability of Eco Cute and Eco Jozu because a price increase invites consumer's consciousness on energy conservation so that a cost reduction on energy consumption becomes essential in a use of the efficient appliances. The other implication is that marketing activities, especially by recommendations from sales representatives and/or housing suppliers, are important for consumer behaviors. The other important findings are discussed in this study. This business experience in Japan is useful to the other countries where ecologically efficient water heaters are not popular at the current moment.
As a worldwide concern, policy makers, researchers and individuals who are interested in the global warming and climate change, have been discussing about a reduction on green house gases such as CO2. The G8 (Group of 8) conference at L'Aquila (Italy), opened in July 2009, has supported an international pledge in which all industrial nations reduce more than 80% of green house gases by 2050, compared to the levels of 2005. In particular, they have discussed on the gas reduction in residential and commercial sectors as well as a transportation sector. For example, their discussion includes space and water heaters in residential houses and business offices. They have also discussed an impact of direct combustion of fuel in passenger cars and tracks on CO2 emission. To reduce the amount of CO2 emission, many international organizations (e.g., IEA: International Energy Agency, 2009) have paid attention to a use of electric technology such as an electric vehicle and an electric heat pump water heater. See, for example, IEA 2009, Edmonds et al., 2006 and Euroelectric, 2007 and Eurelectic (2007). Japan cannot escape from the international trend on global warming and climate change. Indeed, Japan has achieved high efficiency in an energy usage of the industrial sector. However, the residential and commercial sectors have not achieved such a high standard. The amount of CO2 emission in Japan is increasing in the residential and commercial sectors. Recently, Japanese government, along with local governments, provides consumers with a financial incentive when they purchase an ecologically efficient water heater because the share of water heating in household energy consumption is relatively large, which is approximately 30%. The governmental support can be considered as a policy tool to reduce the amount of CO2 emission in Japanese household energy consumption. In addition to the general trend mentioned above, Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) proposed a long-term energy plan and Japanese Cabinet approved the plan on June 18, 2010. The energy plan has a policy goal in which Japan reduces the amount of CO2 emission in households by 50% until 2030. To attain the policy goal, Japanese government recommends a use of a “smart meter” energy management system that can enhance an efficient use of energy, along with a use of efficient lighting and water heaters, in households (Nihon Keizai Shinbun—Japanese Economic Newspaper on April 17, 2010, corresponding to Wall Street Journal in USA and Financial Times in UK). Admitting the importance of diffusion of ecologically efficient water heaters for achieving a low-carbon society toward which Japan is now directing, this study is motivated to examine how Japanese consumers select ecologically efficient water heaters. No study has investigated the marketing aspect on the water heaters. In examining the business/policy issue, we have been long wondering why people purchase such ecologically efficient water heaters even though they are very expensive. To attain the research objective, this study investigates an effective marketing strategy of energy companies in order to promote these appliances to households. This study is also concerned with preparing policy implications related to the marketing effort. Hereafter, this study uses “Eco Cute” and “Eco Jozu”, implying “ecologically efficient electric heat pump water heaters” and “ecologically efficient gas-fired water heaters” in Japanese. Note that “Eco” implies “ecologically efficient”, “Cute” implies “hot water supply”, and “Jozu” implies “good” in Japanese, respectively. The purpose of this study is to examine the business and policy implications for promoting Eco Cute and Eco Jozu by examining various factors that influence consumers' behavior in purchasing Eco Cute and Eco Jozu. This study is important because a use of such two types of water heaters reduces not only energy consumption and cost for households, but also the amount of CO2 emission from households. No study has empirically examined the research agenda on Eco Cute and Eco Jozu. It is true that this study focuses on the experience in Japan. However, it is easily envisioned that this Japanese experience will be useful for the other industrial nations, which attempt to introduce ecologically efficient water heaters in their households and business offices. The remaining structure of this study is as follows: Section 2 describes the energy consumption in Japan and the recent situation on Eco Cute and Eco Jozu. Section 3 explains our research strategy from methodology and empirical models applied in this study. This section also summarizes previous research efforts from the perspective of methodology. Then, this study describes the position of this study in the area of energy studies. Section 4 summarizes a conceptual framework and its derived hypotheses to be examined in this study. Section 5 describes a data set and estimation results, then summarizing our empirical results. Their business and policy implications are also discussed in this section. Section 6 concludes this study along with future research extensions.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Japan must reduce green house gases. That is an international agreement under Kyoto Protocol9. To reduce the amount of CO2 emission in a residential sector, Eco Cute and Eco Jozu are useful appliances for such environmental protection by improving energy efficiency. In particular, Eco Cute can largely contribute the reduction of CO2 emission from the household sector. In the sense, ecologically efficient residential appliances are very important even though they are quite expensive, compared to conventional type appliances. To enhance the amount of sale on ecologically efficient water heaters, this study examined how consumers selected Eco Cute or Eco Jozu in Japan by applying two logit models to a data set obtained from a large questionnaire survey. Findings on the selection of ecologically efficient water heaters are summarized as follows: First, an increase in an energy price leads to energy consciousness and orientation for selecting ecologically efficient appliances among consumers. Such a price increase enhances the selection rate of Eco Cute and Eco Jozu because it is expected that their uses can decrease household energy cost by reducing the amount of energy consumption. In other words, there is a trade-off between operating and capital costs in the selection of appliances, as discussed by Dubin (1986). The trade-off is influenced by a discount rate in the case of a residential choice on water heat appliances. Such a cost reduction becomes more effective on consumers to whom energy companies apply a special tariff in the introduction of ecologically efficient appliances. Second, a large house and/or a new house introduce an ecologically efficient water heater. Therefore, sales promotion on such a water heater is highly effective when people buy a new house or renovate a house. That is an important result. Third, when consumers know the availability of a financial support from the Japanese government, they tend to purchase Eco Cute. That is another important result. Fourth, the selection probability of Eco Cute and Eco Jozu is strongly influenced by the recommendation of sales representatives. Such marketing effects are more important than consumers' preferences. The result is beyond our imagination because marketing activities for water heaters are considerably less than those for home electric appliances. In addition to the above findings, this study finds the following two business implications on marketing variables that are important for promoting Eco Cute or Eco Jozu. One of the two findings is that marketing variables are important in considering a consumer's choice on a water heater because the incorporation of marketing variables enhances the mixed logit model's capability and estimation accuracy even if we do not assume his decision making with two stages. Incorporating the marketing variables reveals a consumer's selection behavior on fuel as well as energy efficiency among different water heaters. Thus, the marketing variables are important even though water heaters are different from other home electric appliances such as TV in terms of their prices and usages. When a consumer purchases a water heater, he usually does not have much information about energy efficiency and cost reduction by using Eco Cute or Eco Jozu because many consumers are not yet familiar with these appliances. Therefore, it is effective to influence consumers' purchasing behavior and creating their preferences by providing them with information about ecologically efficient water heaters. Such information includes high energy efficiency of Eco Cute and Eco Jozu, compared with conventional ones, along with a cost trade-off between the price of new water heaters and a cost reduction effect provided by them. As a result, an advice from marketing representatives of energy firms becomes useful in persuading consumers to buy Eco Cute or Eco Jozu. The other finding is that energy companies need to make their marketing strategies not only by explaining a difference between energy sources (electricity or gas) but also a technology or energy efficiency difference. Their marketing efforts include a description on a cost trade-off between conventional and ecologically efficient water heaters. Surprising results: An important contribution of this study is that this study identifies all of our findings from 6682 questionnaires sent to household consumers. We obtain a collection rate of 51.3% (so, the total number of effective returns is 3431). It is easily imagined that the quality of this empirical study is very high because a large number of consumer replies to our survey. Although this study reduces the number of effective samples for estimations, it still contains a large number of samples. Furthermore, all the empirical results have a linkage with the conceptual framework, as discussed in Section 4. In this sense, our findings may belong to our imagination boundary. However, it is true that no research has empirically examined the six hypotheses in the previous research efforts on water heaters (e.g., Banfi et al., 2008, Fernandez, 2001, Fuks and Salazar, 2008, Rehdanz, 2007 and Vaage, 2000) published in this journal. Moreover, a major surprising result is that the marketing activities of energy firms significantly influence a consumer behavior in the purchase of an ecologically efficient water heater. American vs. Japanese consumers: Most of American consumers have been using conventional gas-fired heaters for water and space as a central heating system (Liao and Chang, 2002). This aspect on American consumers is by far different from the Japanese consumers who use a water heater separated from space heating. Thus, if we follow the concept of “law of effect”, American consumers are more likely to purchase a conventional gas-fired heater in the next purchase. However, we need to consider another aspect on American consumers. That is, they become environmentally conscientious so that they recently pay serious attention to ecologically efficient appliances for water and space heating. As discussed by Chu et al. (1999), Americans are more logical decision makers than Japanese in term of selecting an alternative from many. If we extend their empirical implication to this study, it is possible to sell Eco Cute and Eco Jozu to American consumers by using various types of decision making tools. Such tools (e.g., a computer-aided tool or another type of logical tool on Internet) provide consumers with information about ecologically efficient water heaters in an effective manner. Therefore, it is easily envisioned that the empirical results found in this study are useful for American energy industry and energy policy. Finally, it is hoped that this study can contribute for energy conservation and environmental studies. The empirical findings will be useful for energy firms in not only Japan but also other nations that try to use the ecologically efficient water heaters.