By Tim Radford
Researchers in Los Angeles find that saving money is not the most powerful message in persuading people to reduce the amount of electricity they use.
LONDON, 25 January, 2015 − Altruism is alive and well and living in California. An extended experiment involving more than 100 households suggests that people are more likely to reduce energy use if they believe it is good for the environment rather than good for their pockets.
Those who tuned into the messages about public good saved, on average, 8% on their fuel bills, while households with children reduced their energy use by 19%. But people who were repeatedly reminded that they were using more power than an economy-conscious neighbour altered their consumption hardly at all. >>
The campus buildings at the University of California, Los Angeles,
Image: Downtowngal via Wikimedia Commons
The Climate News Network is supported by the Ashden Trust, the JJ Charitable Trust and the Mark Leonard Trust - three of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts. This support assures the Network’s continuation while we seek the means to ensure its long-term sustainability.
We have also had generous support from the Lush Charity Pot.
We thank them all for their practical help, and for sharing our vision.
The site is open to everyone: this service is entirely free of charge and the stories are there for all to use.