Engineering Energy-Efficient Behaviours and Conservations in Household Electricity Market in Urban Dhaka

Last registered on January 19, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Engineering Energy-Efficient Behaviours and Conservations in Household Electricity Market in Urban Dhaka
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008838
Initial registration date
January 19, 2022

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
January 19, 2022, 12:22 PM EST

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

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Australian National University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Dhaka and BRAC University, Bangladesh
PI Affiliation
Duke University

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2021-02-16
End date
2023-03-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Social information, price salience and personal message are widely used as a nudge to influence the behavioural change. In this research, we use a randomized field experiment (RCT) to examine the effects of behaviorally motivated demand-side management (DSM) interventions on energy use among residential customers in urban Dhaka. We address the question: Can Home Energy Reporting (HER) subject to contextualized message contents be effective in the context of a developing country like Bangladesh? In our field experiment on households’ energy conservation, we combine the administration provided monthly energy-use data from our implementation partner and survey data to test our research questions. Accordingly, we construct the interventions and rigorously evaluate the programs to understand the effects using carefully planned RCTs. Given these novelties, our research findings will contribute to the relevant literature as well as the essential energy policies of Bangladesh, from where other countries, particularly in developing countries can also learn.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Das, Debasish, Subhrendu Pattanayak and Atonu Rabbani. 2022. "Engineering Energy-Efficient Behaviours and Conservations in Household Electricity Market in Urban Dhaka." AEA RCT Registry. January 19. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8838
Sponsors & Partners

Sponsors

Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We are implementing information provision treatments i.e. Household energy use reports and efficient energy use tips that may effect on household energy use plans.
Intervention Start Date
2022-01-24
Intervention End Date
2022-12-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
After implementing the information provision treatments, we will experiment with behavioral change communications based on social norms (descriptive and injunctive) and persuasion. Our primary analyses will involve an intent-to-treat (ITT) analyses where we will examine the mean differences in energy usage between the treatment and control groups based on the initial assignments. In addition, we will understand some of the mechanisms, for example, adopting energy-saving equipment and solutions.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This study aims to observe the efficacy of HER in eliciting energy-efficient behaviour from the consumer. We introduce several treatment interventions to a sample of residential electricity customers in Dhaka city. The interventions and both administrative and follow-up data collection will aim to check the heterogenous behavioural implications of the interventions.

We are implementing a multi-arm randomised control trial (RCT in partnership with a government-regulated electricity utility provider Dhaka Electricity Supply Company Limited [DESCO] in Bangladesh. The study will draw a sample of about 2000 households from the residential customer pool of one of DESCO.

Households in the experimental population are randomly assigned into three treatment groups: one placebo-control (C), and two different versions of home energy reporting (HER-1 and HER-2). The sample size of 650 households (rounded) for each of the treatment groups including the control is determined based on ensuring the required statistical power.

We are implementing the following interventions:
>[Placebo-Control: C] We randomly assign 700 households to a placebo-control group. The home in this group is receiving information on what energy-saving behaviours one can adopt. There will be twelve such tips developed through literature search, prior campaign materials found online and finalized after an expert consultation. Additionally, the customers in the placebo group will receive information on their own energy use WITHOUT any comparisons with any other users or customers.

>[Home Energy Report Version 1: HER-1] In this arm of intervention, we will generate monthly reports of energy use using administrative data on electricity meter readings and share with 700 customers. These reports will include (a) the same energy-saving tips as the placebo-control groups; (b) additionally the customers will receive information on their own monthly energy use (in kwh) with further comparisons with (i) other customers within the same neighbourhood and (ii) average use of the customers from the bottom quintile according to the energy use within the same neighbourhood. The neighbourhood is defined by the customers who are connected to the same transformers.

>[Home Energy Report Version 2: HER-2] Behavioral research shows that nominal or monetary comparisons, instead of real units or quantity, can affect customers consumption plans differently. Therefore, in this version of HER, we will make salient how much money the customer is being paid for their electricity consumption both in absolute terms and also relative to the reference groups. The intervention of HER-2, we generate a report similar to HER-1 and share with 700 customers.

Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Ensuring the required statistical power randomization performed by Stata on a computer.
Randomization Unit
Individual customer
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
0
Sample size: planned number of observations
2100
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
700 for each treatment arm, including placebo-control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University
IRB Approval Date
2021-11-07
IRB Approval Number
IRB-11 July’21-020