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Predicting Summer Energy Consumption From Homeowners' Attitudes

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Volume 9, Number 1, p.70-90 (1979)



Two surveys examined the relationship between homeowners attitudes toward energy use and their actual summer electric consumption.^In Survey .; 56 couples filled out questionnaires concerning their energy attitudes.^A factor analysis of their responses revealed four factors: comfort and health concerns, effort to conserve and monetary savings, role of the individual, and legitimacy of the energy crisis.^The factors were entered into a multiple regression analysis to predict actual summer electric consumption.^The attitudinal factors together significantly accounted for 55% of the variance in summer electric consumption.^The comfort and health factor by itself explained 30% of the consumption variance.^Survey .; consisting of 69 couples, was conducted to elaborate the meaning of the factors.^The results of the factor analysis of Survey 2 revealed six factors: comfort, health, individual`s role, belief in science, legitimacy of the energy crisis, and effort to conserve.^An overall regression analysis showed that the factors significantly explained nearly 60% of the summer consumption variance.^The comfort factor was again the best predictor of summer electric consumption, accounting for 42% of the variance.^It was concluded that attitudes about one`s comfort are significantly related to household energy consumption (primarily air conditioning).^The implications for energy conservation campaigns were discussed.