Electricity awareness and consumer demand for information

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Abstract

With the envisioned growth in the residential electricity demand and increased share of intermittent renewables in the supply mix, consumers will need to be better informed about their electricity consumption and to play an active role in managing their electricity use. However, consumer inattention and lack of information are ubiquitous, especially in household energy‐related settings. Thus, by using a novel survey and actual monthly electricity consumption data, this study set out to measure the level of awareness about electricity bills, prices, and costs among some Finnish households – as captured by the answers to six questions – and to investigate whether higher levels of ‘electricity awareness’ are associated with electricity savings. In addition, this study analyzes the willingness to receive extra information about energy consumption and savings and how it differs between ‘electricity aware’ and ‘electricity unaware’ respondents. The results indicate low levels of ‘electricity awareness’ among the respondents of the survey. Compared to the respondents with little knowledge about electricity bills, prices, and costs, the respondents with higher levels of ‘electricity awareness’ tend to consume less electricity. Higher levels of awareness about electricity use and consumption might “materialize” inconspicuous consumption patterns, as opposed to more general facts about the largely invisible environmental consequences of everyday practices. More than two‐thirds of the total number of respondents would like to receive additional information about energy consumption and how to save energy. However, there exists a significant portion of ‘electricity unaware’ respondents who are not only unwilling to receive such information but are also unaware of their own knowledge deficits. To maximize the impact of any information strategy, decision‐makers should attempt to engage with this type of consumer; by becoming more aware of their knowledge deficits, people might become more receptive to information that can benefit them.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Consumer Studies
ISSN1470-6423
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Electricity Awareness
  • Electricity Demand
  • Information
  • Self-Assessment
  • Residential Buildings
  • Finnish Households

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