Urgency and engagement: Empirical evidence from a large-scale intervention on energy use awareness

Arianna Galliera, Giovanna D'Adda, Massimo Tavoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We study how to foster engagement in the energy sector, where signals about consumption are opaque and infrequent. We evaluate an energy company's large-scale communication campaign for promoting natural gas self-reading. Self-readings allow utilities to bill customers on the basis of real - as opposed to estimated - consumption. Exploiting variation in campaign messages, we test the impact of imposing a sense of urgency on customers through a deadline for submitting a meter reading. We find that messages that induce a sense of urgency are twice as effective than generic messages in encouraging self-readings, consistent with recent research on the urgency effect. The increased sense of urgency moves to action customers with both high and low levels of baseline engagement; the effect is stronger on the former.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102275-N/A
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Consumer behavior
  • Engagement
  • Gas consumption
  • Information
  • Urgency

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