Guest Seminar 2.5. - Behavioural public policy and household energy consumption

Welcome to the HELSUS Guest Seminar on 2.5. at 14:15-16:00. Yavor Paunov from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm is giving a talk on his recent research project "Few and far between: A scoping review of the underrepresented mechanistic evidence in empirical research on household energy consumption". HELSUS-professor Michiru Nagatsu hosts the seminar.

Join us for a seminar delving into the underrepresented mechanistic evidence in empirical research on household energy consumption. The paper is part of a larger interdisciplinary project aimed at developing a mechanism-based framework for assessing the relative effectiveness of different kinds of behavioural interventions in the domain of sustainable energy consumption funded by Swedish Energy Agency.

What? HELSUS guest seminar 

When? 2.5. at 14:15-16:00, 1 hour for the talk and the rest for questions and common discussion

Where? At HELSUS Hub Lounge (Porthania, Yliopistonkatu 3) and Zoom 

Presentation abstract:

Few and far between: A scoping review of the underrepresented mechanistic evidence in empirical research on household energy consumption

Behavioural public policies (BPPs) promise to change individual behaviour without incentive change or coercion. In the domain of household energy consumption, however, effect sizes are relatively small and vary substantially between studies. Moreover, interventions could be effective in one instance, and backfire in another. This would suggest that the causal relationships between the interventions and the targeted energy consumption behaviour are likely dependent on multiple contextual factors. Hence, more - and more systematic - efforts should be made to investigate the mechanisms behind intervention effects, especially if one aims towards stable and predictable outcomes.

I report findings from a scoping review of the available mechanistic evidence provided for the effects of behavioural interventions in the field of energy conservation. An interdisciplinary team of scientists (Philosophy, Economics, and Psychology) selected and reviewed 136 individual studies reporting primary intervention results, while recording and categorizing the mechanistic explanations provided for the findings. Then, the mechanistic explanations were matched to distinct intervention types and the availability and measurement strength of the mechanistic tests in the literature was recorded.

The results indicate that in its current state, the empirical research in the field pays insufficient attention to the processes behind intervention outcomes. Moreover, the findings highlight evidence for mechanistic heterogeneity and mechanistic overlap in the literature.

Yavor Paunov is a researcher at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. His main research interests are with designing and implementing transparent behavioural interventions aimed at energy saving. His prior work is on transparency in nudging, and his current publications compare the effectiveness and the mechanisms behind various nudging and boosting interventions. Yavor is also a guest researcher at the university of Mannheim in Germany, where he teaches behavioural science and sustainability.

How to get there? You find the entrance to HELSUS Hub at the 2nd floor of Porthania, next to the elevators. When entering HELSUS, the Hub Lounge room is straight ahead. Please ring the doorbell if the door is not open.