Residential heating, a major source of carbon emissions, is also a significant part of household costs, so reducing the consumption of energy for heating is of interest to both individuals and societies. Since the consequences of individual behavior related to heating are complex and not immediate, many people are unaware of them. In a longitudinal field experiment at a German real estate company, we evaluated two loss aversion nudges (one with a cost the other with a health-risk framing) toward sustainable heating behaviors. We find support for the cost framing nudge as the effectiveness of the nudge increased over the study period. Our findings have implications for research and for practitioners, particularly housing providers that seek ways to encourage pro-environmental behavior.
Vincent Beermann, Annamina Rieder, Mirko Ebbers, Karl Bicker, Vanessa Pörschke, Falk Uebernickel