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EE Seminar

Environmental Economics Seminar

Intrinsic Motivation to Promote the Development of Renewable Energy: A Field Experiment from Household Demand


Adélaïde Fadhuile
Assistant Professor at UMR GAEL



The European Union aims to become a “competitive, secure and sustainable energy system”. The EU has set ambitious targets in its 2030 Energy Strategy that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% compared to 1990 levels, increase the share of renewable energy to 27%, and improve energy efficiency by 25%. Residential consumption, which stands for 36% of the total electricity use in France, is an important driver of this reduction. Electricity is a non-storage good implying to manage the gap between consumption and production. To avoid electricity breakdown, and therefore the gap between production and consumption, we implement nudges to reduce/increase household consumption during peak of consumption/renewable production.

We focus on intrinsic motivation to promote the development of renewable energies. Based on a field experiment over 173 households, from June 2019 to September 2021, we analyze electricity usage with high frequency data (30-min). We implement 2 types of nudges to shift the electricity usage during peaks (a) of consumption during winter (6pm to 8pm) and (b) of solar production during summer (12pm to 3pm). The nudge takes the form of a commitment from the household. The household commits to undertake several actions within a personalized list during peak hours. For each of the 27 alerts, the household received at least three text messages indicating the alert and the actions he had committed to.

Our preliminary results show that, households reduce their consumptions during peak alerts of the winter season by approx. 15%, resp. an increase by 7% during summer. This reduction is partly explained by a change in the shape of the electricity curve. However, we do not find evidence of habit formation, as the nudge effectiveness is not increasing nor decreasing over time. Interestingly, spillovers seem to appear at different time of the days.

Co-author : Daniel Llerena and Béatrice Roussillon

Practical information


Montpellier SupAgro / INRA - Bat. 26 -Salle Océanie
2 Place Viala 34000 Montpellier

Dates & time

Mar 25, 2022


Alexandre Sauquet
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Gwenolé Le Velly
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