Energy Demand Management and Social Norms

Gołębiowska, B., Bartczak, A., Czajkowski, M. (2020) Energies, 13(15), 3779

The main objective of our study was investigating the impact of norms and financial motivation on the disutility of energy management for Polish households. We analyzed consumer preferences and willingness to accept demand-side management (DSM) programs. Choice experiment was applied for electricity contracts including external control of electricity consumption. Ajzen's theory of planned behavior provided the theoretical framework of the study, which tested hypotheses about the impact of social norms on consumer choices of electricity contracts. We show that people with higher descriptive social norms about electricity consumption are less sensitive to the level of compensation and more responsive to the number of blackouts. People willing to sign a contract for financial reasons were less sensitive to the external control of electricity consumption and less inclined toward the status quo option. Injunctive social norms and personal norms had a non-significant impact on consumer decisions. We conclude that financial incentives can reduce the effect of the norms. Social and personal norms seem to be more important when we analyze the revealed preferences. European countries face significant challenges related to changes in energy policy. This study contributes to understanding the decisions of households and provides insights into the implementation of DSM.


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