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The power to conserve: a field experiment on electricity use in Qatar

Al-Ubaydli, Omar, Cassidy, Alecia, Chatterjee, Anomitro, Khalifa, Ahmed and Price, Michael (2023) The power to conserve: a field experiment on electricity use in Qatar. Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Paper (404). Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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High resource users often have the strongest response to behavioral interventions promoting conservation. Yet, little is known about how to motivate them. We implement a field experiment in Qatar, where residential customers have some of the highest energy use per capita in the world. Our dataset consists of 207,325 monthly electricity meter readings from a panel of 6,096 customers. We employ two normative treatments priming identity - a religious message quoting the Qur’an, and a national message reminding households that Qatar prioritizes energy conservation. The treatments reduce electricity use by 3.8% and both messages are equally effective. However, this masks significant heterogeneity. Using machine learning methods on supplemental survey data, we elucidate how agency, motivation, and responsibility activate conservation responses to our identity primes.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
JEL classification: C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C9 - Design of Experiments > C93 - Field Experiments
D - Microeconomics > D9 - Intertemporal Choice and Growth > D90 - General
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q4 - Energy > Q41 - Demand and Supply
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2023 11:15
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2023 11:15

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