Responses to Changing Energy Conditions among Massachusetts Households

Stern, P. C., Black, J. S. & Elworth, J. T. (1983). Responses to changing energy conditions among Massachusetts households. Energy, 8, 7, 515-523.

Survey data on 478 residential electricity consumers in Massachusetts are used to examine the effects of economic, demographic, structural, and attitudinal variables on energy-saving activity disaggregated into behaviorally distinct types involving energy efficiency improvements or curtailments. Home ownership, household energy bills, and personal norms for conservation all influence total energy savings, but different patterns of influence operate for different classes of behavior. Structural factors, particularly home ownership, were most important in influencing major efficiency improvements, while personal norms became increasingly important with less structurally constrained types of behavior, such as temperature settings. High and rising fuel prices indirectly produced some general energy savings, but the only classes of behavior to be directly affected were low-cost efficiency improvement and sacrifices of non-energy amenities. Some implications are discussed.

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