Feedback, social comparisons, and intervention strategies for reducing electricity consumption in the residential sector

Rajesh Sundaresan (Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore)

February 25, 2019, 11:00–12:15


Room MS 003

Environment Economics Seminar


We discuss the implementation and outcome of a 14-month long experiment (Randomized Control Trial, RCT) conducted among 20,000 households (with another 20,000 controls) in a suburb of a large metropolis in Kerala, India to modify electricity consumption of household using consumption feedbacks and social comparison mechanisms. We consider the following research question: If the electricity utility provider could engage with consumers and inform them on (i) how many kilowatt-hours were used for lighting, heating, cooling, etc., in their home, (ii) how green each household's consumption pattern was when compared with other similar households, and (iii) energy saving tips, will consumer behavior change towards reduced energy consumption? The talk will provide an overview of the many interesting technical challenges we encountered for designing and implementing this RCT, and our crude attempts at some solutions.