POSTPONED: Boosting Energy Saving Behavior
Welcome to the School of Architecture and Built Environment’s Thursday seminar series! During the current pandemic, the seminars take place digitally.
Time: Thu 2021-09-30 15.00 - 16.00
Lecturer: Till Grüne-Yanoff
It has long been recognised that energy conservation not only requires technological progress, but also behavioral adjustments. But what kind of behavioral interventions are available for policymakers, and according to what criteria should they choose between them?
We are about to run a large, long-term field trial in KTH's student housing with a number of interventions of the Nudge- and Boost-type with the aim to increase energy conservation. This will provide evidence of efficiency, sustainability, spill-over effects and normative acceptance of the most promising efforts to reduce energy consumption.
This project theoretically distinguish different types of behavioral interventions according to the mechanisms through which they operate. The standard intervention repertoire includes coercion and incentivisation - e.g. fines and tax breaks. But the literature increasingly also discusses non-coercive, non-incentivising interventions - the term Nudging has been widely used to describe these. We further refine this category, distinguishing between Nudges proper, which harness participants’ cognitive biases, and Boosts, which increase participants’ competences. To give a simple example, harnessing people’s implicit bias of “following the herd” by presenting them past consumption data of “the model group” constitutes a Nudge, while increasing people’s competences by explaining the energy savings of microwaves and providing them with simple & tasty recipes for everyday microwave dishes constitutes a Boost.
Professor Till Grüne-Yanoff will report the experimental design and present the hypotheses that will be put to the test.