Title:

The Effects of Feedback on Energy Conservation: A Meta-Analysis

URL: https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/bul-a0039650.pdf
Summary: This article analyzes past theoretical and empirical research on both feedback and proenvironmental behavior to identify unresolved issues, and utilizes a meta-analysis of 42 feedback studies published between 1976 and 2010 to test a set of hypotheses about when and how feedback about energy usage is most effective.
Highlights: Feedback has been studied as a strategy for promoting energy conservation for more than 30 years, with studies reporting widely varying results. Literature reviews have suggested that the effectiveness of feedback depends on both how and to whom it is provided; yet variations in both the type of feedback provided and the study methodology have made it difficult for conclusions to be drawn. The current article analyzes past theoretical and empirical research on both feedback and proenvironmental behavior to identify unresolved issues, and utilizes a meta-analysis of 42 feedback studies published between 1976 and 2010 to test a set of hypotheses about when and how feedback about energy usage is most effective. Results indicate that feedback is effective overall, r .071, p .001, but with significant variation in effects (r varied from .080 to .480). Several treatment variables were found to moderate this relationship, including frequency, medium, comparison message, duration, and combination with other interventions (e.g., goal, incentive). Overall, results provide further evidence of feedback as a promising strategy to promote energy conservation, with a mean effect size of .071 across 42 studies. We also found that feedback is most effective when it is combined with goal-setting or external incentive interventions, when it provides goal-based comparisons, when gives feedback via a computer, and when the feedback intervention is somewhat brief (e.g., less than 3 months) or quite long (e.g., longer than 1 year).
Topics: Environment:, Energy efficiency
Location: US
Resource Type: strategies and interventions
Publisher: American Psychology Association
Date Last Updated: 2016-07-04 12:15:55

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