Social norms and energy efficiency

South Africa

In order to increase energy saving behaviors in government buildings in South Africa, a project was conducted to test the effectiveness of various behavioral interventions that were implemented through email. The project consisted of two treatment groups and one control group. For the first phase of the project, the two treatment groups were emailed tips on how to reduce their energy use. In the second phase of the project, one treatment group received emails about an inter-floor competition in the building to reduce energy consumption, while the second treatment group received emails both about the inter-floor competition, and about an employee on the floor who had been designated as the “energy saving advocate”. Results showed that the most effective treatment, which decreased energy use by 14%, was the one which combined the inter-floor competition with the energy saving advocate.

Biases Used


Other Applications: Health and Wellbeing, Tax Compliance