Andor, M. & K. FelsEnergy-savings through behaviorally-motivated measures?

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Mark A. Andor & Katja M. Fels 

Release date:
March 2017

acatech – German Academy of Science and Engineering, publication series on future energy systems

Politicians and other stakeholders around the world are discussing effective and cost-effective measures to reduce global warming and limit its consequences. There is a broad consensus that - in addition to the introduction and use of low-emission technologies such as renewable energies - improved energy efficiency is a central instrument for climate protection. For example, many countries and states have committed themselves to reduce their energy consumption, above all the members of the European Union. Germany aims to reduce the primary energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020 as well as by 50 percent by the year 2050 as a target value.

Considerable savings potential lies in the area of ​​private households, which consumed more than a quarter of the final energy in Germany in 2015. In order to motivate private households for increased energy saving, for example, higher energy taxes or stricter standards are conceivable. However, the potential of such conventional instruments seems to be largely exhausted on the basis of measures already taken and comparatively high energy prices in Germany. This is why alternative approaches are increasingly taking center stage.

In order to provide a reliable information basis for the political debate about alternative, behaviorally motivated approaches to energy saving, the present systematic review shows the potential and limits of behavioral interventions in the energy sector based on the identified causal effects. To this end, the existing research results are selected and prepared on the basis of predefined criteria. The following behavioral interventions are taken into account: feedback, social comparison, self-commitment, objective and labeling.

Link to publication