The effect of information nudges on energy saving: Observations from a randomized field experiment in Finland.

Ruokamo, E., Meriläinen, T., Karhinen, S., Räihä, J., Suur-Uski, P., Timonen, L., & Svento, R. (2022).

Field experiments have shown that information nudging can help households to save energy, however, the effectiveness varies depending on aspects such as information content, delivery mode and study area. This article evaluates the impacts of information nudges on residential electricity consumption with a randomized field experiment. This opt-in experiment was conducted in Finland. Information was administered via monthly email newsletters and an online energy service platform. The aim is to find out whether i) energy saving tips combined with and without online energy service platform providing electricity consumption information, and ii) peer comparisons (i.e., social norm) influence households’ electricity consumption. The results show a high seasonal variation in the treatment effects within the groups who were registered users of the online energy service platform. Those with access to usage feedback and versatile energy savings tips (without the social norm comparisons) reduced their electricity consumption around 10% in wintertime. The results imply challenges in encouraging energy saving behavior among households less interested in following their electricity consumption.

Electricity use at home

Consumer housing values and prejudices against living in wooden homes in the Nordic region.

Lähtinen K., Häyrinen L., Roos A., Toppinen A., Aguilar Cabezas F.X., Thorsen B.J., Hujala T., Nyrud A.Q., Hoen H.F. (2021).

So far, consumer housing values have not been addressed as factors affecting the market diffusion potential of multi-storey wood building (MSWB). To fill the void, this study addresses different types of consumer housing values in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden (i.e., Nordic region), and whether they affect the likelihood of prejudices against building with wood in the housing markets. The data collected in 2018 from 2191 consumers in the Nordic region were analyzed with exploratory factor analysis and logistic binary regression analysis. According to the results, consumers’ perceptions on ecological sustainability, material usage and urban lifestyle were similar in all countries, while country-specific differences were detected for perceptions on aesthetics and natural milieus. In all countries, appreciating urban lifestyle and living in attractive neighborhoods with good reputation increased the likelihood of prejudices against wood building, while appreciation of aesthetics and natural milieus decreased the likelihood of prejudices. In strengthening the demand for MSWB and sustainable urbanization through actions in businesses (e.g., branding) and via public policy support (e.g., land zoning), few messages derive from the results. In all, abreast with the already existing knowledge on the supply side factors (e.g., wood building innovations), more customized information is needed on the consumer-driven issues affecting the demand potential of MSWB in the housing markets. This would enable, e.g., both enhancing the supply of wooden homes for consumers appreciating urban lifestyle and neighborhoods and fortifying positive image of wood among consumers especially appreciating good architecture and pleasant environmental milieus.

Determinants of supplementary heating system choices and adoption consideration in Finland

Räihä, J., Ruokamo, E. (2021)

Detached house owners can improve energy efficiency in heating by adding a supplementary heating system alongside the primary mode. Whereas research on primary heating mode adoption is wide, studies focusing solely on the determinants of supplementary heating system adoption is limited. This study examines the determinants of supplementary heating system adoption and consideration in Finland with a survey data collected from a sample of newly built detached house owners. We employ discrete choice modeling to investigate the homeowners’ supplementary heating system choices and interpret the results vis-à-vis the diffusion of innovations literature. The supplementary heating systems under study are solar panel, solar thermal heater, air-source heat pump and water-circulating fireplace. Overall, the findings indicate that homeowners are generally receptive to supplementary heating in Finland. The analyses show that several factors such as age, education, primary heating mode, heating system attributes, location, environmental attitudes and information channels impact the supplementary heating system adoption decision.

Omakotitalo ja aurinkopaneelit Anne Toppinen