Friends of the Behavioral Economics Club, this week we present the paper “Survey results on using nudges for choice of green-energy supplier” by Milaszewicz, D. (2022), in which the author analyzes the results of a big survey made to Polish population about the people’s opinion on the utilization of nudges to improve their environmental behavior.
On more than one occasion we have selected several articles on this blog dedicated to caring for the environment, due to its importance.
Global warming, for example, is a matter of concern for the entire world. It is also true for electricity consumers in general, as reflected in the existing consensus on the urgent need for radical changes in energy consumption patterns, and the polluting emissions that arise, mainly, from excessive dependence on renewable energy sources. fossil energies.
One of these agreements is the Paris Agreement, which reaches collective action to reduce the risks and impacts of climate change, and each participating country has committed to submit additional plans internally to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (from hereafter GGE).
In Poland, the context of this article, a low-carbon energy transformation will be required, with the end user playing an active role, thus marking the importance of households in this process.
According to some experts, a key strategy for reducing GG emissions is a massive shift in energy demand from carbon to green, renewable, and carbon-free energy sources, such as wind, solar, or thermal power.
Political interventions to promote these changes in the domestic context are mainly based on providing information, financial incentives, legal orders and prohibitions. However, they are often ineffective in motivating people to adopt sustainable behavior on a voluntary basis.
On the contrary, many empirical studies show that using behavioral economics on human judgment and decision making contributes to improving information, financial and legal instruments, and allows the development of new behavioral intervention tools and strategies, which that leads to the desired sustainable and lasting changes.
One of the behavioral approaches to increasing the frequency of sustainable behavior is based on the concept of “nudges”. It starts from the idea that humans have a limited rationality and we need certain impulses to change our behavior and thus achieve the common good.
The object of study of this article is the degree of acceptance of these measures, of these “nudges”, by the Polish population. In other words, the author intends to present the “nudges” as one of the change strategies to achieve pro-environmental behavior, and to analyze the factors selected to determine the acceptance of these practices by society.
To do this, she conducted a series of interviews in October 2020, a critical moment when practically the entire world was affected by the Covid pandemic. Approximately 100,000 consumers participated, ranging in age from 15 to 65.
Most of the people who participated in the study were female (52.4%), older than 55 years (32%), with a medium educational level (41%), residents of large cities (42.4%) and mostly employed workers (47.3%).
Most of Polish (81%) see the problem of climate change and its consequences as the biggest challenge facing humanity in the 21st century, and express growing support for green energy.
More than half of Polish people (58%) believe that their country should rely more on renewable energy sources to tackle the climate crisis, and 64% are in favor of the government introducing tougher measures to force the change in citizen’s behavior; within these changes, “nudges” are included.
However, there is a lack of trust in the government shown by almost half of the citizens in the study and this may be a factor that prevents the full acceptance of the tools carried by the authorities, in such a way that the desired changes were delayed. .
The author decides to highlight the idea that the Polish population is open and motivated to change their behavior in order to overcome the environmental crisis we are suffering. She also mentions that it would be very useful for those responsible for formulating energy policies to take into account each of the results of this macro-survey (more detailed in the original article), to be used in the generation of energy strategies.
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