A Multi-Method Evaluation of the Potential for Using the Electricity Bill to Encourage Energy Savings in Norwegian Households

Håkon Sælen, Hege Westskog


This study explores whether the electricity bill can be used as a medium to deliver information that encourages energy conservation in Norwegian households. Two main categories of information were tested: social comparative feedback and information about the monetary savings that can be made through specific energy-saving measures. The study combines four methods. First, a focus group study gathered advice on the categories and design of information that could influence energy consumption, and addressed general issues on energy consumption. Second, a field experiment monitored actual electricity use in 1000 households over a period of 10 months. In addition, through a survey and a series of in-depth interviews, the experience of the participating households was investigated. The experiment showed no effect on actual consumption. One main barrier was that only half the sample noticed the information. This suggests that the potential for encouraging energy conservation through adding new information to the bill in Norway is limited. The bill is already quite informative and is becoming less relevant as an increasing share of consumers switch to electronic bills and direct debit, which decreases the attention they pay to their bills.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/eer.v3n1p135

Energy and Environment Research   ISSN 1927-0569 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0577 (Online)
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