Conference Paper

Using Online Communities to Reduce Energy Consumption: A Field Experiment

DOI: 10.1109/IJCSS.2012.49 Conference: Service Sciences (IJCSS), 2012 International Joint Conference on


This study investigates the potential of an online intervention, namely an online community, to reduce energy consumption among consumers. The study model, underpinned by Self-Determination Theory, explores how such an intervention can enhance consumer psychological needs of autonomy, competence and relatedness in the energy saving context. This would be highly beneficial to energy providers, such as our industry partner, for two reasons. First, satisfaction of these psychological needs drives intrinsic motivation to perform the behaviour and, subsequently, the performance of the desired behaviour and further that such behaviour is more likely to be sustained over time compared with extrinsically motivated behaviours. Second, this approach, if supported, represents a relatively low-cost communication approach compared to both traditional media at one extreme and one-to-one interventions at the other. The study involves an online field experiment across four time periods. Data is currently being collected and preliminary results will be presented at the conference.

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Available from: Tim Mazzarol, Feb 20, 2014