Economics Working Papers

Publication Date

8-22-2015

Number

16007

Abstract

A randomized experiment is used to test whether employees will take actions to lower short- and long-run electricity use when their actions are unobservable and only the firm can benefit. Results suggest that social norms act as a coordinating device supporting worker conservation efforts. Electricity use fell 5.2% on average in buildings that were provided information on their own energy use compared to that in a paired building. The energy reductions have persisted over three years. Feedback on own past usage and provision of promotional information induced smaller and
statistically insignificant reductions in electricity use.

JEL Classification

H41, Q3, Q4

File Format

application/pdf

Length

30 pages

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