University of Oulu

Ruokamo, E., Meriläinen, T., Karhinen, S., Räihä, J., Suur-Uski, P., Timonen, L., & Svento, R. (2022). The effect of information nudges on energy saving: Observations from a randomized field experiment in Finland. Energy Policy, 161, 112731.

The effect of information nudges on energy saving : observations from a randomized field experiment in Finland

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Author: Ruokamo, Enni1,2; Meriläinen, Teemu1,2; Karhinen, Santtu1,2;
Organizations: 1Finnish Environment Institute, University of Oulu, PL 413, FI-90014, Finland
2Department of Economics, Accounting and Finance, University of Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, P.O.Box 8000, FI-90014, Finland
3Motiva Ltd, P.O. Box 489, FI-00101, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.1 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-06-21


Field experiments have shown that information nudging can help households to save energy, however, the effectiveness varies depending on aspects such as information content, delivery mode and study area. This article evaluates the impacts of information nudges on residential electricity consumption with a randomized field experiment. This opt-in experiment was conducted in Finland. Information was administered via monthly email newsletters and an online energy service platform. The aim is to find out whether i) energy saving tips combined with and without online energy service platform providing electricity consumption information, and ii) peer comparisons (i.e., social norm) influence households’ electricity consumption. The results show a high seasonal variation in the treatment effects within the groups who were registered users of the online energy service platform. Those with access to usage feedback and versatile energy savings tips (without the social norm comparisons) reduced their electricity consumption around 10% in wintertime. The results imply challenges in encouraging energy saving behavior among households less interested in following their electricity consumption.

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Series: Energy policy
ISSN: 0301-4215
ISSN-E: 1873-6777
ISSN-L: 0301-4215
Volume: 161
Article number: 112731
DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2021.112731
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1172 Environmental sciences
218 Environmental engineering
512 Business and management
Funding: Funding from the Strategic Research Council, operating in connection with the Academy of Finland, projects BCDC Energy (292854) and DECARBON-HOME (335252) as well as the Academy of Finland project EcoRiver (323810) is gratefully acknowledged. Part of this work by the second author was carried out within the financial support from the Finnish Cultural Foundation.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 292854
Detailed Information: 292854 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
323810 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (