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Electricity saving in households--A social cognitive approach

By John Thøgersen and Alice Grønhøj


We propose a conceptual framework for understanding the (lack of) energy saving efforts of private households based on Bandura's (1986) social cognitive theory. Results from applying this framework on a sample of Danish private electricity consumers are presented and it is concluded (a) that households' electricity consumption depends on both structural and motivational factors, (b) that their electricity saving effort depends on the strength of their internalized norms or self-expectations and on self-efficacy related factors, and (c) that there are predictable patterns of interaction among household members that influence their electricity consumption. The results suggest two approaches to promote electricity saving in households: (1) to change the socio-structural environment to be more facilitating for energy saving and empower householders to be more effective in their striving towards this goal through improved feedback about their household's electricity consumption and (2) social norms marketing, communicating social expectations and others' successful electricity saving achievements.Electricity saving Social cognitive theory Dyadic data analysis

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