Nudging prosumers to conserve energy

Last registered on June 24, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Nudging prosumers to conserve energy
Initial registration date
June 05, 2024

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
June 24, 2024, 12:13 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.



Primary Investigator

University of Alabama and Australian National University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Democritus University of Thrace

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Non-price interventions, “nudges”, are frequently used to affect individual choices without limiting their set of choices. Significant research in the field has shown that nudges are effective inducing a decrease on residential energy consumption. However, most studies focus on the impact of nudges on residential consumers while the impact on prosumers remains relatively understudied. Focusing on prosumers is of great importance for two main reasons. First, the number of households that adopt solar panels significantly increases over the years and second, several studies indicate a solar rebound effect in the electricity consumption. In this study, we estimate the effect of social-norm comparisons by implementing a RCT with an energy service company in Sweden, which offers metering, and IT systems for energy efficiency and renewable energy.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Pragidis, Ioannis and Micheal Price. 2024. "Nudging prosumers to conserve energy ." AEA RCT Registry. June 24.
Experimental Details


Home Energy Report (eHER) via email on a bi-weekly basis. descriptive and injunctive information about
the household’s overall electricity consumption and purchases from the grid. The descriptive information
compared the household’s overall electricity consumption and purchases from the grid over the last 8 weeks
with that from two distinct reference groups – a set of similar customers and a set of the most energy
efficient customers.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Daily energy consumption per household.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
800 customers from CW have been randomly assigned between a control and a treatment group (300 and 500 customers respectively). The control group receives nothing while the treatment group receives on a bi-weekly basis via email a Home Energy Report (eHER). The electronic Home Energy Report (eHER) comprises eight distinct sections, each delivering valuable information on their energy consumption and efficiency.

This initial section familiarizes customers with the report through the inclusion of the company logo and a report title, aiming to providing an overview of the informational content and prepare consumers for the information they will receive. The second section combines consumers' energy consumption data with peer comparisons in a single diagram. Using a line chart, the eHER presents the household’s own electricity consumption, a descriptive norm by comparing household’s average electricity consumption with that of their neighbors - similar households – and with the most efficient neighbors over an eight-week period.

In the third section, households receive a message either 'Great,' or 'Good,' or 'Moderate,' accompanied by corresponding icons and colors, that is based on their performance regarding electricity consumption. Section four presents information on energy bought during the reported period, once again incorporating peer comparison as in the consumption case above. The fifth section quantifies household energy consumption by presenting the percentage difference between the household's average consumption and that of its most efficient neighbors.

Section six displays the household’s rank in a colored box with different icons and backgrounds, encouraging customers to take action to lower their energy consumption. In section seven, an injunctive frame box presents messages regarding social norms related to energy usage. The last section offers energy-saving tips that consumers could adopt to further lower their energy consumption and save money, categorized into (a) everyday consumption and (b) house upgrades. The number of tips provided depends on the household's energy performance with most efficient households receiving fewer tips.

In terms of the data collection process, the data delivered from the company (CW) to the research group was completely anonymized and households consented for their administrative data to be used for the research as part of the privacy consent statements that they signed with the company.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
A computer generated an unpredictable random sequence.
Randomization Unit
Households (customers from CW).
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
800 customers from CW.
Sample size: planned number of observations
800 customers from CW (28,000,000 observations - panel data/ hourly data).
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
300 control customers.
500 treatment customers.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Office for Research Ethics & Compliance at University of Alabama
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials