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Household acceptability of energy efficiency policies in the European Union: Policy characteristics trade-offs and the role of trust in government and environmental identity

: Faure, Corinne; Guetlein, Marie-Charlotte; Schleich, Joachim; Tu, Gengyang; Whitmarsh, Lorraine; Whittle, Colin


Ecological economics 192 (2022), Art. 107267, 14 S.
ISSN: 0921-8009
Fraunhofer ISI ()
energy efficiency policy; policy acceptability; policy instrument; choice experiment; trust, environmental identity

This research investigates the acceptability of energy efficiency policies among European households. Based on large-scale surveys in Italy, Poland, Sweden, and the UK, we use a discrete choice experiment to study the tradeoffs made by households between various policy characteristics including policy target level, dependence on energy imports, policy instruments (education and information programmes, standards, taxation, energy consumption limit), costs to the household, and distribution of costs between households and other sectors. In particular, we investigate the role of trust in government and of environmental identity on the acceptability of these policy characteristics. Across the four countries, we find that households prefer effective policies, dislike personal costs, and prefer non-coercive to coercive instruments; further, trust in government helps make coercive policies such as taxes more acceptable, whereas higher environmental identity makes consumption limits more acceptable.