en
Scientific article
Open access
English

Using rewards and penalties to promote sustainability: Who chooses incentive‐based electricity products and why?

Published inJournal of Consumer Behaviour, vol. 20, no. 2, p. 381-398
Publication date2020
Abstract

Incentives, both rewards and punishments, are effective instruments that have been embedded in electricity product designs to reduce electricity consumption. Reducing electricity consumption can considerably contribute to climate change mitigation. To better understand consumer preferences for incentive-based electricity products, a choice experiment using choice-based conjoint analysis was conducted among a rep-resentative sample of Swiss electricity consumers. Based on stated preferences for different product attributes, four consumer segments were identified. While two seg-ments (49.6%) stated preference for incentive-based products, two other segments were less accepting of incentive components (particularly of penalties). We further explain the segments' preferences using psychographic characteristics, combining measures from psychology and behavioral economics. Precisely, environmental values and emotions, energy saving intentions and motives, perceived product attrac-tiveness, as well as loss and risk aversion, and comparative optimism bias best described the segments. We align our findings with previous segmentation studies and argue for a stronger integration of behavioral economics in the environmental discourse. We further discuss the usefulness of consumer segmentation to develop tailored strategies that effectively target consumers' preferences and needs.

Citation (ISO format)
MAHMOODI, Jasmin et al. Using rewards and penalties to promote sustainability: Who chooses incentive‐based electricity products and why? In: Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 2020, vol. 20, n° 2, p. 381–398. doi: 10.1002/cb.1870
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ISSN of the journal1472-0817
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