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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Boosting the choice of energy-efficient home appliances: the effectiveness of two types of decision support

Blasch, Julia E.; Filippini, Massimo; Kumar, Nilkanth; Martinez-Cruz, Adan L.


Consumers' limitations in assessing the lifetime cost of household appliances may sustain the much-cited energy efficiency gap. We analyse the impact of an individual's energy and investment literacy and two different types of decision support on the ability to identify the appliance with the lower lifetime cost in an online randomized controlled trial among two independently chosen samples of the Swiss population. In a decision task, participants choose between appliances with different lifetime cost. One treatment offers a short education programme on how to calculate the lifetime cost of an appliance - via a set of information slides. The second treatment provides access to an online lifetime-cost calculator tool. We find that pre-treatment energy and investment literacy are positively associated with the probability of identifying the appliance with the lowest lifetime cost. Evidence in this paper suggest that both decision aids boost identification of energy-efficient appliances. We discuss strategies to scale up these boosters.


Energy efficiency; bounded rationality; deliberation cost; boosting; online tools; energy and investment literacy

Published in

Applied Economics
2022, Volume: 54, number: 31, pages: 3598-3620

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG7 Affordable and clean energy
    SDG12 Responsible consumption and production

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Energy Systems

    Publication identifier


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