John Lewis studies energy-efficency consumer purchasing behaviour

12 Sep, 14

Trial partnered with Department of Energy and Climate Change

John Lewis has released the results of a trial, which studied if providing lifetime electricity running costs of appliances at point of sale changed purchasing behaviour.

Current EU energy labels report energy use in kWh per year, which means little to many consumers. 

The trial, partnered by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), divided John Lewis stores into intervention and control groups. Intervention stores displayed total monetary lifetime running cost of each appliance in addition to the EU energy label kWh per year. Control stores displayed only EU label kWh per year. 

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The DECC calculated lifetime running costs.

The report found washer dryers sold in intervention stores consumed an average of 6.64kWh per year ;ess energy than appliances sold in control stores (equivalent to 0.7%). 

When looking at the effect between town centre and non-town centre stores, the effect was greater in non-town centre stores with washer dryers consuming an average of 15.26kWh per year less (1.5%) in intervention than control. 

No significant effect was observed for other products ie washing machines or tumble dryers. It is believed this is because their lifeitime running cost were the highest out of all the product types in the trial. 

The findings support the idea that small changes to address information barriers and provide consumers with information, can in some circumstances help to reduce energy demands.