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Smart-meter Adoption: Valuing Drivers and Barriers in the UK (SAVDABUK) - Methodology Pilot
Last registered on March 08, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Smart-meter Adoption: Valuing Drivers and Barriers in the UK (SAVDABUK) - Methodology Pilot
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003948
Initial registration date
March 04, 2019
Last updated
March 08, 2019 3:50 PM EST
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Grantham Research Institute, London School of Economics
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Grantham Research Institute, London School of Economics
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2019-03-04
End date
2019-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This aim of this research is to assess the impact of anchoring in Becker-deGroot-Marschak experiments. The research will create an incentive-compatible experiment to elicit the willingness-to-accept (WTA) smart meters for a representative panel of UK households.

The incentive-compatible Becker-deGroot-Marschak (BDM) method of non-market valuation is an improvement upon many stated preference methods that environmental economists use to elicit preferences for environmental goods using hypothetical payouts. The method works by allowing individuals who do not want a free smart meter to select a value that they would accept as compensation for having a smart meter installed in their homes. The researchers then randomly draw a value within a delineated range, and if the value equals or exceeds the stated WTA, then the transaction takes place (i.e. the individual receives the offer in exchange for signing up for the smart meter). If the number drawn is below their WTA, no such transaction takes place. The research team aims to elicit a monetary value for consumers’ WTA smart meter installations in their homes conditional on various treatments designed to reduce barriers to energy-related technology adoption (as per Gillingham and Palmer, 2014).

This initial pilot intended to understand the implications of various features of the methodology, households will receive the 'control' condition from above (i.e. without information aimed at increasing adoption) but we will randomly vary or withhold the delineated range of our potential offer in order to assess the impact of this information on the elicited willingness-to-accept. This pilot will inform the structure of the BDM in the main survey.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Gosnell, Greer and Daire McCoy. 2019. "Smart-meter Adoption: Valuing Drivers and Barriers in the UK (SAVDABUK) - Methodology Pilot." AEA RCT Registry. March 08. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3948-1.0.
Former Citation
Gosnell, Greer and Daire McCoy. 2019. "Smart-meter Adoption: Valuing Drivers and Barriers in the UK (SAVDABUK) - Methodology Pilot." AEA RCT Registry. March 08. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3948/history/42784.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
BDM Methodology Pilot (N=300):
(1) Offering participants a range of £0-100
(2) Offering participants a range of £0-50
(3) Witholding information on the range offered to participants
Intervention Start Date
2019-03-04
Intervention End Date
2019-03-22
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Participants' willingness-to-accept (WTA)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
WTA will be a monetary value elicited from participants
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The Becker-deGroot-Marshak method will be applied by allowing individuals who will not accept a free meter to select a value that they would be willing to accept (WTA) as compensation for having a smart meter installed in their homes. The researchers then randomly draw a value within the delineated range, and if the value equals or exceeds the stated WTA, then the transaction takes place with a 10% probability; that is, if successful the researchers will pay the individual their minimum WTA, and the individual’s name will be added to the waitlist for smart meter installation with their energy supplier. If the number selected is below their WTA, no such transaction takes place. All participants are informed of the design and payout probability prior to consenting to the survey, and again prior to stating their WTA in the survey.

In the main study to follow this pilot, prior to eliciting the WTA, the researchers will experimentally vary information on the delineated range presented to households. By doing so we can quantify the influence prior knowledge on the range has on WTA.

We will estimate the causal effect of our treatment using a tobit regression model to account for the censorship of our outcome variable from below and above.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization will be conducted by Qualtrics/panel provider. All groups will be assessed for balance prior to analysis.
Randomization Unit
Individual (energy decision-makers in households without smart meters)
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
n/a
Sample size: planned number of observations
Pilot: 300
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Pilot: 100
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
London School of Economics - Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2019-03-04
IRB Approval Number
REC Ref # 000864