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GreeNudge Can Help Neutralize 2 Million Cars
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GreeNudge Can Help Neutralize 2 Million Cars

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In cooperation with Scandinavia’s biggest electrical retail chain, Elkjøp, the Norwegian NGO GreeNudge informed customers about total lifetime costs of household appliances. They did this by adding a second price tag to the conventional sales price: lifetime energy cost. They used this cost information to nudge customers to buy more energy efficient products.

GreeNudge initiated and funded the study, which was conducted by researchers from CICERO Center for International Climate and Environmental Research - Oslo. The results were published in the Journal of Consumer Policy. The combined effect of lifetime cost labelling of tumble driers, and training sales staff to promote energy efficient products, was a 5 % net reduction in energy use from the appliances sold.

A 5 per cent reduction may not sound much. However, applied to all household appliances sold in the EU, the reduction would amount to a staggering 10 million tonnes of CO2, equal to the exhaust of 2 million cars. We believe that every retail store in Europe should start doing this, exploiting the triple-win of green nudging, says Gunhild A. Stordalen, CEO of GreeNudge. The retailer benefits by selling higher priced products. The customers benefit by paying less over the lifetime of the product. The environment benefits because the products consume less energy.

Inspired by the GreeNudge study, the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will test the effect of lifetime pricing on appliances at John Lewis stores as part of a new Energy Efficiency Strategy. The ambition is to become a global leader in reducing energy use.

Using behavioural research to design small, cost-efficient green nudges represents a potent measure for combating climate change if scaled up. We are excited that DECC and the British Government currently are setting up this study in order to see if it possible to reproduce our results in the UK. Traditional sticks and carrots represent respectively unpopular and costly tools for policymakers. Improving energy labelling is a simple, cost-efficient measure helping consumers reduce their energy bills and save the environment, says Stordalen.











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