Little research is available regarding energy use and sourcing decisions among lower-income households, particularly with respect to the efficacy of various behavioral interventions (e.g., providing social norms information; financial vs. social incentives). There is a similar lack of research that examines the barriers to and facilitators of lower-income households adopting small-scale renewable energy technologies (e.g., rooftop solar). The lack of existing research poses a challenge for regulators, planners, policymakers, advocates and others who are interested in improving energy use and sourcing decisions amongst lower-income individuals for environmental, economic and/or equity reasons.
Using a combination of experimental and observational methods, the research team will examine the factors that influence how lower-income individuals and households make a variety of energy-related decisions, including consumption behaviors and sourcing choices. In addition, the project will seek to identify and test novel behavioral interventions that may be more effective than traditional approaches with this group.