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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-03-21
    Description: To be aware of the potential for energy savings in their homes, individuals need specific energy-related and financial knowledge. In addition, they also need the cognitive skills to apply this knowledge, for example when it comes to the calculation of the lifetime cost of household appliances or energy-efficient renovations. This set of knowledge and skills is related to two literacy concepts, i.e. energy and financial literacy. In this paper, we propose a new concept of literacy that we call "energy-related financial literacy". Further, we present information on the level of financial literacy as well as on the level of energy-related financial literacy for a sample of European households. In the empirical part of the paper we estimate several ordered probit models in order to analyse the determinants of the level of energy-related financial literacy, with a particular interest to understanding the role of gender. Our results show that the level of energy-related financial literacy is relatively low and heterogeneous across the European countries. Moreover, the results confirm previous findings about the gender gap in financial literacy, with males being associated with higher levels of the index. We also identify such a gender gap for energy-related financial literacy.
    Keywords: Q52 ; Q54 ; O10 ; ddc:330 ; Energy literacy ; financial literacy ; energy-related financial literacy ; consumer awareness ; energy knowledge
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:workingPaper
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: This paper estimates the level of transient and persistent efficiency in the use of electricity in Swiss households using the generalized true random effects model (GTREM). A panel dataset of 1, 994 Swiss households from 2010 to 2014 collected via a household survey is used to estimate an electricity demand frontier function. We further investigate whether energy and investment literacy have an influence on the household electricity consumption. The results show significant inefficiencies in the use of electricity among Swiss households, both transient (11%) and persistent (22%). We note that the high persistent inefficiency is indicative of structural problems faced by households and systematic behavioral shortcomings in residential electricity consumption. These results indicate a considerable potential for electricity savings and thus reaching the reduction targets defined by the Swiss federal council as part of the Energy Strategy 2050, wherein end-use efficiency improvement is one of the main pillars. The results support a positive role of energy and, in particular, investment literacy in reducing household electricity consumption. Policies targeting an improvement of these attributes could help to improve efficiency in the use of energy within households.
    Keywords: D12 ; D13 ; D80 ; Q41 ; Q48 ; ddc:330 ; Stochastic frontier analysis ; Transient and persistent efficiency ; Energy literacy ; Investment literacy ; Energy saving behaviour ; Residential electricity demand ; Household data
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:workingPaper
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: There is evidence that many individuals make sub-optimal investment decisions when the benefits and costs associated with that decision are distributed over time. One example is the decision to adopt new electrical appliances, with the benefits of choosing a more energy efficient device materializing only in the future. This paper analyses the impact of the level of an individual’s energy-related investment literacy on the adoption of energy-efficient appliances. Moreover, the empirical analysis explores the impact of decision support tools such as educational slides on the probability that individuals identify the appliance with the lowest lifetime cost, which is ideally also the most energy-efficient appliance. To test the influence of these decision support tools, we developed an online randomized controlled trial and implemented it on two independently chosen samples of the Swiss population. One treatment offers a short education program on how to calculate the lifetime cost of an appliance – via a set of information slides. The second intervention provides access to an online calculator that supports the investment decision-making of the individual. Results across the two samples are encouraging. We find that i) pre-treatment energy and investment literacy positively impact on the probability of identifying the appliance with the lowest lifetime cost; ii) the reinforcement of energy-related investment literacy increases the rate at which individuals identify the appliance with the lowest lifetime cost; and iii) while both interventions are effective in increasing the chances that an appliance with the lower lifetime cost is chosen, the online calculator turned out to be more effective than the educational program. Public policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: D12 ; D80 ; Q41 ; Q48 ; ddc:330 ; energy-efficient appliances ; energy-related investment literacy ; appliance choice ; bounded rationality ; educational programs ; online tool
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:workingPaper
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: It is an ongoing debate how to increase the adoption of energy-efficient light bulbs and household appliances in the presence of the so-called ’energy efficiency gap’. One measure to support consumers’ decision-making towards the purchase of more efficient appliances is the display of energy-related information in the form of energy-efficiency labels on electric consumer products. Another measure is to educate the consumers in order to increase their level of energy and investment literacy. Thus, two questions arise when it comes to the display of energy-related information on appliances: (1) What kind of information should be displayed to enable consumers to make rational and efficient choices? (2) What abilities and prior knowledge do consumers need to have to be able to process this information? In this paper, using a series of recursive bivariate probit models and three samples of 583, 877 and 1, 375 Swiss households from three major Swiss urban areas, we show how displaying information on the future energy consumption of electrical appliances in monetary terms, i.e. as an estimate of yearly energy cost (CHF) rather than in physical units (kWh), increases the probability that an individual performs an investment analysis and hence chooses the most (cost-)efficient appliance. In addition, our econometric results suggest that individuals with a higher level of energy and, in particular, investment literacy are more likely to perform an optimization rather than relying on a decision-making heuristic and are more likely to identify the most (cost-)efficient appliance.
    Keywords: D12 ; D80 ; Q41 ; Q48 ; ddc:330 ; energy-efficiency ; bounded rationality ; energy-using durables ; information ; energy label ; energy literacy ; choice experiment ; Energieeinsparung ; Lampe ; Umweltzeichen ; Konsumentenverhalten ; Begrenzte Rationalität ; Probit-Modell ; Ballungsraum ; Schweiz
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:workingPaper
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  • 5
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    Zurich: ETH Zurich, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research
    Publication Date: 2019-03-21
    Description: The literature on the energy-efficiency gap discusses the status-quo bias as a behavioral anomaly that potentially increases the energy consumption of a household through at least three channels: (1) by making consumers keep their energy-using durables as long as possible, until wearout forces them to replace their equipment (2) by making consumers choose new energy-using durables that resemble the existent ones that need replacement, and (3) by making consumers overuse appliances in an attempt to mentally amortize the initial investment cost. The results presented in this study are an attempt to empirically investigate the extent to which the presence of a bias towards the status quo is linked to residential electricity consumption through two out of the above mentioned three channels: non-replacement of old appliances and overuse of appliances. Using data from a large household survey conducted in three European countries, we find that our measure of status-quo bias is a significant predictor of both the age of home appliances as well as the level of consumption of energy services of a household. The tendency of status-quo biased individuals to keep their appliances longer and to use them more intensely is also reflected in the total electricity consumption of their households, which is found to be around 5.7% higher than for households of non-biased individuals. This research thus provides some first empirical evidence that the status-quo bias has the potential to create a substantial barrier to increasing residential energy efficiency. Our findings prompt policy makers to design instruments that take this barrier into account.
    Keywords: D12 ; D91 ; Q41 ; Q50 ; ddc:330 ; status-quo bias ; loss aversion ; appliances replacement ; residential energy consumption ; energy-related financial literacy
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:workingPaper
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2010-06-01
    Print ISSN: 0301-4215
    Electronic ISSN: 1873-6777
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Political Science
    Published by Elsevier
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-12-01
    Print ISSN: 0301-4215
    Electronic ISSN: 1873-6777
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Political Science
    Published by Elsevier
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2015-06-24
    Print ISSN: 0165-0009
    Electronic ISSN: 1573-1480
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
    Published by Springer
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2017-10-01
    Print ISSN: 0140-9883
    Electronic ISSN: 1873-6181
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Economics
    Published by Elsevier
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2015-08-01
    Print ISSN: 0921-8009
    Electronic ISSN: 1873-6106
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Economics
    Published by Elsevier
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