Consumer Behavior and Energy Policy: An International Perspective

By Eric Monnier; George Gaskell et al. | Go to book overview

impersonal and formal sources, as well as prevailing neighborhood norms; (f) they intentionally seek ways of reducing their household energy consumption and lowering their electric bills, especially in the long run; and (g) their household financial condition is relatively secure and they have the funds to participate in the program, which may be a result of more effective household financial management practices.


Energy Savings

A large majority of the households that participated in the buy back program had reduced their total electricity consumption to some extent, although those savings vary greatly among households. The mean reduction in electricity consumption for those households that had actually saved energy was approximately -0.77 kWh/DD, which on the average represents an 18 percent increase in the energy efficiency of these houses. At the same time, some households increased their electricity consumption after participating in the program, primarily because of intentional changes they made in their daily living patterns.


Final Conclusion

From a broader perspective, this research indicates that various household dynamics are a crucial intervening link between community conservation programs and making weatherization improvements in one's house. A utility or other community agency cannot simply establish a conservation program and assume that households will eagerly participate in it, even though the program may provide highly lucrative financial benefits. To ensure that these programs achieve their goals, program managers must give serious attention to household dynamics such as established role expectations, interpersonal communications, decision-making patterns, personal values and ideological commitments, time perspectives, interactions with others, and past and present financial conditions and problems. In short, a crucial consideration in designing energy conservation programs is how well households function as social units and as financial and energy management systems.


REFERENCES

Bonneville Power Administration, 1981. "Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act: A Sum-"

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