This field experiment quantifies the impact of a social comparison feedback intervention to promote responsible heating energy consumption among a group of tenants. Using data for indoor temperature collected by a set of smart thermostats, participating households are informed about how their average indoor temperature in December 2018 compares to average temperature of their peers (i.e. observationally similar households observed during the same period of time).
Aside from a control group that does not receive the information, we randomly allocate households across three conditions. First, in the baseline treatment, the social comparison information is provided without context, which is the usual approach in alternative field studies (e.g. Allcott and Rogers, AER 2014). In the second, third and fourth conditions, social comparison information is accompanied by additional information about the landlord behavior.
While the baseline condition provides evidence about the impact of social comparison in this specific context, the two additional treatments will enable us to document the role of information about supply-side behavior in the context of social information feedback interventions.