RWIMeta-analysis of the causal effects of behavioral interventions on the energy consumption of private households

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RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research

Release date:
December 2017

RWI project report

Climate protection programs are on the political agenda worldwide. As a means to achieve the ambitious climate gas reductions, the European Union, Germany and many other nations around the world are pursuing the goal of drastically reducing their energy consumption levels. As part of the 'Energiewende Baden-Württemberg', the state government has set itself the ambitious goal of achieving 50 percent lower energy consumption by 2050 than in 2010. However, it raises the fundamental question of how such drastic energy reductions can be achieved.

The present study systematically summarizes existing research on the effects of behavioral interventions on the energy saving behavior of households and presents the results in the form of a meta-analysis. This analysis uses quantitative and statistical methods to calculate general effect sizes of interventions based on the individual results of different primary studies. Specifically, five of the most widespread behavioral interventions that can be assessed as politically feasible are analyzed: feedback, social comparison, self-commitment, goal setting and labeling.

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