Government

Energy Conservation "Nudges" And Environmentalist Ideology: Evidence from a Randomized Residential Electricity Field Experiment

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Executive Summary

Nudges are being widely promoted to encourage energy conservation. The authors show that while the electricity conservation "Nudge" of providing feedback to households on own and peers' home electricity usage works with liberals, it can backfire with some conservatives. The regression estimates predict that a registered liberal who pays for electricity from renewable sources, who donates to environmental groups, and who lives in a liberal neighborhood reduces consumption by 3.1 percent in response to this nudge. A registered conservative who does not pay for electricity from renewable sources, who does not donate to environmental groups, and who lives in the bottom quartile liberal neighborhood increases consumption by 0.7 percent.

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