Professor Maya Papineau was recently featured in the podcast Ergs and Equilibrium, hosted by Brandon Schaufele (Director of the Ivey Policy and Management Centre and an Associate Professor of Business, Economics and Public Policy at the Ivey Business School). In the episode titled “Flying Over the Trap Door,” Maya discusses her Journal of Environmental Economics and Management paper “Experimental evidence on heat loss visualization and personalized information to motivate energy savings” co-authored with Nicholas Rivers.
Abstract: We report the results of a large field trial that provides randomly selected households with a visual depiction of home heat loss from infrared images as well as personalized energy efficiency messaging, while other randomly selected households are provided with a ‘traditional’ home energy report with personalized messaging. The results show that households that receive heat loss images reduce energy consumption by a larger amount than households that receive the traditional home energy report. Additionally, the heat loss treatment results in a higher rate of realized energy efficiency durables investment and leads households to conserve in a manner consistent with private and social efficiency: the most inefficient households exhibit the largest energy reductions and durables investment relative to the traditional social comparison. Overall, the results suggest that visual depictions of heat loss can help motivate energy savings.