People Power

Educational campaigns often don’t lead to action because they rely on an outside entity that warns you of the dire consequences of your behavior or tells you what is the ideal way of behaving. And that often makes people defensive, because we never see ourselves as the ‘bad’ people who waste electricity.

In a 6 month long experiment, behavioural design group Briefcase, collected the households’ electricity bills of households and calculated the average bill amount in that particular society.

They then proceed to put a stamp on the bill, stating the average amount of the bill in that society. Next to that, they put a frownie.

Over a period of 6 months, the average reduction in unit consumption by above-average users was 1.33% compared to an average increase of 6.02% in unit consumption by non-stamped users.
1.33% reduction on a national scale can power 17,465 villages for one year.
Over this period of 6 months, we found an average of 50% of above-average users (stamp intervention group) reducing their electricity consumption, compared to an average of only 39% of non-stamped users (no intervention group) reducing their electricity consumption. The base rate for above-average users was lower before the experiment began.