Evaluation Summary: The Impact of Home Energy Reports on Energy Conservation

Policymakers are increasingly concerned about how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One proposed solution is to send households an energy report that compares their energy use to that of their neighbors and provides them information about conservation techniques.

To study the effectiveness of these reports, J-PAL affiliate Hunt Allcott (NYU) and Todd Rogers (Harvard) looked at the impact of energy reports from a company called Opower. The randomized evaluation compared monthly electric meter readings in households receiving reports and control group households to estimate the effect of the mailings on energy consumption.

The researchers found that the home energy reports reduced household energy consumption by about 2 percent across twelve utilities. The reports had the strongest effect in the short-run, but the program had enduring effects among households that were dropped from the program after two years.

Read our full evaluation summary on the J-PAL North America website.

Study Cited: Alcott, Hunt and Todd Rogers. 2014. “The Short-Run and Long-Run Effects of Behavioral Interventions: Experimental Evidence from Energy Conservation.” American Economic Review: 104(10): 3003-3037.

Author: Carolyn Ruh

Carolyn Ruh is an Undergraduate Policy Intern at J-PAL North America. As a Policy Intern, Carolyn helps write summaries of research articles and updates the J-PAL North America blog. Carolyn is currently studying economics at Boston College with a minor in Faith, Peace and Justice. She has previously worked with ACCION East, a nonprofit in Cambridge that provides small business loans throughout the United States.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s