Behavioural Energy Savings: Measuring the Impact of Customer Rewards on Consumption using a Quasi-Experiment

K.H. Tiedemann (Canada)


Energy conservation, behavioural change, rewards effects.


Reducing greenhouse gas emissions will require major changes in energy-related technologies and behaviours. Energy consumption is not itself behaviour, but it is, rather, a consequence of energy-related behaviours such as turning on lights, raising thermostat settings or driving to the store. This study focuses on reward-related interventions which affect household energy-related behaviours and consequently affect household energy use. The study is based on a sample of 462 residential electricity customers who were divided into four treatment groups and a comparison group. All five groups received information and education while the four treatment groups received performance based rewards. The study finds that: (1) there are statistically significant differences in the rates at which members of the treatment groups and the control group perform many energy conservation behaviours; (2) the rewards program reduced consumption by an average of 638 kWh per year or by about five percent of typical annual consumption; and (3) the overall effect size using Cohen’s d is large.

Important Links:

Go Back