Skip to content Skip to navigation

Promoting Energy Conservation: An Analysis of Behavioral Research

Publication Type:



Westview Press, Boulder, CO (1987)



This book reviews and analyzes the past ten years of research on changing the energy-related behavior of individuals.^It reviews the results of about 200 studies and presents them in a form usable by program designers, researchers, and auditors in the field.^The book discusses the effectiveness of ways to change people`s behavior to save more energy, e.g., to get them to recycle, carpool, or turn down the thermostat.^The book analyzes three ways to motivate people to change their behavior: antecedent communications, consequences, and social influences.^Antecedent communications are sent to people before they make energy conservation decisions, and include information, prompts, and persuasion.^Techniques that change the consequences of acting in a certain way include feedback, incentives, and disincentives.^Social influence techniques include group contingencies (rewards predicated on the behavior of a group of people, rather than one individual), demonstrations of ways to conserve energy, and solicitations of individual commitments to conserve.^Katzev and Johnson derive lessons from the research on each type of technique.