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Reducing hot water consumption with behavioral interventions
Last registered on November 08, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Reducing hot water consumption with behavioral interventions
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004995
Initial registration date
November 07, 2019
Last updated
November 08, 2019 10:11 AM EST
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
ETH Zürich
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2019-08-12
End date
2020-03-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Various interventions have been shown to effectively reduce private households’ energy consumption. We evaluate a randomized controlled trial in the context of the ‘Hot Water Challenge’, an intervention focused on hot water consumption, to address three research questions. Can regret enhance the effectiveness of traditional lotteries as a tool to incentivize households? For which type of household are social comparison interventions effective? Does an intervention focused on hot water consumption lead to spillovers on cold water or heating energy consumption?
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Mayr, Harald. 2019. "Reducing hot water consumption with behavioral interventions." AEA RCT Registry. November 08. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4995-1.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2019-09-23
Intervention End Date
2020-02-13
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Chapter 2: percent change in hot water consumption
Chapter 3: percent change in hot water consumption
Chapter 4: percent changes in hot water consumption, cold water consumption, heating energy consumption
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
"Percent change" refers to the average percent change in consumption between the baseline period (September) and the intervention periods October to January (see the attached pre-analysis plan for a formal definition).
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The field experiment addresses three distinct research questions in a cross-randomized design. The Control group (20% of the sample) does not receive any intervention. The remaining 80% of the sample receive individual hot water consumption feedback, a 5% savings target, and intervention components randomized along two dimensions:

- The type of lottery (StandardLottery vs. RegretLottery, described in detail in chapter 2 of the attached pre-analysis plan)
- Social comparison (NoComparison vs. Comparison, described in chapter 3 of the attached pre-analysis plan)

The effects of these aggregated interventions, as compared to the Control group, are subject of chapter 4 of the attached pre-analysis plan.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Computer
Randomization Unit
Chapter 2: household
Chapter 3: household
Chapter 4: building
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Chapter 2: 3,814 households
Chapter 3: 3,814 households
Chapter 4: 782 buildings
Sample size: planned number of observations
Chapter 2: 3,814 households Chapter 3: 3,814 households Chapter 4: 4,775 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Control: 961 households
A (StandardLottery & NoComparison): 953
B (RegretLottery & NoComparison): 953
C (StandardLottery & Comparison): 954
D (RegretLottery & Comparison): 954

See the attached pre-analysis plan for descriptions of group names Control, A, B, C, D.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
ETH Ethics Commission Office
IRB Approval Date
2019-07-22
IRB Approval Number
EK 2019-N-85
Analysis Plan

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