Health Trumps Cost Savings as Energy Efficiency Motivator
Cutting pollution to promote better health is a more powerful motivator for home energy efficiency than saving money, according to a UCLA study published last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“We’re finding that you have to bundle the public good with the private good,” said principal investigator Magali Delmas, an environmental economist with UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. “Our message about health and the environment reminds people that environmentalism is also about them and their kids.”
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“People who regularly heard how much money they could save made virtually no changes, while repeated messages focused on environmental benefits caused people to cut their energy use an average of 8%,” reports UCLA Newsroom. “The study also found that the environmental message was especially effective in changing the behaviour of people with children living in the home —they reduced their electricity use a whopping 19%.”