Boosting the choice of energy-efficient home appliances: the effectiveness of two types of decision support

Julia E. Blasch, Massimo Filippini, Nilkanth Kumar, Adan L. Martinez-Cruz

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Consumers’ limitations in assessing the lifetime cost of household appliances may sustain the much-cited energy efficiency gap. We analyse the impact of an individual’s energy and investment literacy and two different types of decision support on the ability to identify the appliance with the lower lifetime cost in an online randomized controlled trial among two independently chosen samples of the Swiss population. In a decision task, participants choose between appliances with different lifetime cost. One treatment offers a short education programme on how to calculate the lifetime cost of an appliance – via a set of information slides. The second treatment provides access to an online lifetime-cost calculator tool. We find that pre-treatment energy and investment literacy are positively associated with the probability of identifying the appliance with the lowest lifetime cost. Evidence in this paper suggest that both decision aids boost identification of energy efficient appliances. We discuss strategies to scale up these boosters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3598-3620
Number of pages23
JournalApplied Economics
Issue number31
Early online date18 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Energy efficiency
  • bounded rationality
  • deliberation cost
  • boosting
  • online tools
  • energy and investment literacy

VU Research Profile

  • Science for Sustainability


Dive into the research topics of 'Boosting the choice of energy-efficient home appliances: the effectiveness of two types of decision support'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this