Consumer Behavior and Energy Policy: An International Perspective

By Eric Monnier; George Gaskell et al. | Go to book overview
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separate study, and the sponsoring utility has not decided whether it will fund such a study.
5. Future research issues. The authors believe that an intentions-based prediction model can be developed and fruitfully employed in a utility context. Such models are long overdue. The present utility forecasting models are predominantly based on energy prices and population growth and are not sensitive enough to permit marketing penetration planning. Electric utilities, in particular, must incorporate behaviorally oriented energy use and conservation measures into their forecast models. Present econometric techniques used by utilities cannot be expected to forecast the impact of government energy policies and shifts in customer beliefs. The greater the variation in markets from the historic situation, the poorer the forecasting capability of historically based econometric models.

The authors view the following questions and future research directions as being particularly worth of exploration in order to speed progress toward use of behavioral intentions in utility planning settings: (a) How stable are energy conservation and use intentions over time? (b) Which of the many intervening external factors carry the most weight in shaping intentions? Which have a tendency to delay intentions fulfillment? Which tend to advance behavior? (c) What are the major segment differences in intentions, that is, what are the major personal characteristics and situational circumstances of each major intender group? (d) How sensitive are intentions to the type of intentions measure employed and the method of acquiring the data? (e) What specific attitudinal components are closely related to intentions? (f) How is the attitude- intention-behavior relationship best modelled in context of consumer decisions on energy use and conservation?

This paper represents a beginning of the exploration of intentions-behavior linkages in the residential space heating context. We invite others to take up the task and improve upon these rough beginnings.


Ackenbaum A. A., 1972. "Advertising doesn't manipulate consumers." J. Advertising Res., April.

Anderson C. D., Colwill N. L., and Kent P., 1983. "Evaluation of a major government financial incentive for in-home energy conservation." J. Econ. Psych., 4( 4), 363-76.

Assael H., 1981. Consumer Behavior and MarketingAction.


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Consumer Behavior and Energy Policy: An International Perspective
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