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Are the Non monetary Costs of Energy Efficiency Investments Large? Understanding Low Take Up of a Free Energy Efficiency Program

May 2015

Meredith Fowlie, Michael Greenstone, Catherine Wolfram


This randomized experiment looks for an efficient method to increase take-up of energy-efficient “weatherization” retrofitting (which was being offered at no cost). An experimental groups was randomly assigned to be “encouraged” to participate in the program. They were flooded with information, personal benefits, and environmental advantages to the program. Take-up rates in the control group were roughly 1%; in the experimental group they grew to nearly 6%.

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Policy Implications

While the take-ups rates were increased, the amount of people accepting free weatherization programs remained low. Researchers suggest there are high non-monetary costs associated with the weatherization.

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