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Increasing energy efficiency in low-income households through targeting awareness and behavioral change
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center. (MERO)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5277-4567
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center. (MERO)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1001-2489
2014 (English)In: Renewable energy, ISSN 0960-1481, E-ISSN 1879-0682, Vol. 67, p. 59-63Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The lack of energy awareness among energy consumers has been the main obstacle when it comes to domestic energy savings. In countries like Sweden where wages are high, energy awareness is based mainly on environmental concerns. However, energy awareness is usually amongst consumers with low income or foreign background.

This article presents the results of the analysis of two groups of households, located in different cities in Sweden, all characterized by having low income. The obtained results and experience will be applied to some of the implementation stages of measures targeting different sustainability issues in other low-income neighborhoods in Sweden. Consumers are informed about different solutions and possibilities to save energy and tap-hot water with low cost or no cost measures. Results show that choosing households with high energy saving potential and selecting the most suitable (based on households' characteristics and needs) ways of providing energy consumption feedback, within the group are essential since consumption levels tend to increase when consumers realize they consume less than similar households. The majority of the consumers are retired or families with more than 2 children and their average annual electricity consumption is approximately 2000 kWh. It was found that the consumers' preferred ways for receiving consumption feedback were mainly letters and in-home displays; both environmental factors as well as money are important motivational factors to save energy; consumers are striving to reduce their electricity consumption and have the knowledge necessary to maintain low consumption, despite not being very interested in energy related topics. The main differences when comparing the answered questionnaires sent to all households were found between the groups (with different locations) rather than within the groups. The location of the households groups, the age of the consumers and the presence of children in the group affect the levels of energy related knowledge and should be considered when introducing domestic energy saving and efficiency strategies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 67, p. 59-63
Keyword [en]
Domestic energy consumption; Energy awareness; Consumer behavior; Low income consumers
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-23269DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2013.11.046ISI: 000335105200010Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84897379724OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-23269DiVA, id: diva2:677337
Available from: 2013-12-09 Created: 2013-12-09 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Vassileva, IanaCampillo, Javier

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