Opting Out in Germany for Non-Renewable Energy

The following case explores what happened when three communities in Germany elected to have citizens opt-out for non-renewable energy supplies. In each community, the default energy supply provided to consumers was green (renewable energy source). Customers who wished to change to a less green (and cheaper) alternative were given the option to switch by opting-out of the pre-selected green energy default. In all three cases, the majority of customers chose to stay with the original, renewable energy source selected for them by the energy company. These examples highlight the effectiveness of opt-out designs and illustrate the value of randomized control trials for measuring program impacts.

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