Magali Delmas, UCLA environmental economist, has been studying how to effectively motivate individuals to conserve energy. Dr. Delmas led a team of researchers to analyze electricity consumption in 118 graduate student households. Households were more likely to reduce energy use after receiving a personalized message about total contribution to air pollution and damage to public health. Participants receiving these messages reported feeling a moral duty to reduce consumption more than participants receiving messages about monetary expenses of consumption. In another study led by Delmas, researchers discovered the power of social pressure to motivate individuals to conserve energy in a college dorm.
Source: Changing habits, saving power: The study of incentives UCLA Newsroom 22 July 2016
Additional coverage about Magali Delmas’ incentives research:
Q&A with Magali Delmas on what really motivates green behavior UCLA Newsroom, 28 October 2015
Los Angeles Times Summit: Powering Forward | Excerpt: Magali Delmas Los Angeles Times