Does Information Feedback from In-Home Devices Reduce Electricity Use? Evidence from a Field Experiment

Shahzeen Z. Attari, Gautam Gowrisankaran, Troy Simpson, Sabine M. Marx

NBER Working Paper No. 20809
Issued in December 2014
NBER Program(s):   EEE   IO

There is limited evidence of behavioral changes resulting from electricity information feedback. Using a randomized control trial from a New York apartment building, we study long-term effects of information feedback from “Modlet” in-home devices, which provide near-real-time plug-level information. We find a 12–23% decrease in electricity use for treatment apartments, concentrated among individuals reporting higher willingness-to-pay for an energy monitoring system. Decrease in overall electricity use is similar among treatment apartments which received Modlets and those which declined Modlets, and does not specifically occur for outlets with Modlets. This decrease may be due to a Hawthorne or salience effect.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20809

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