What drives the acceptability of fossil energy saving measures?

How do psychological, policy and country characteristics interact and affect the acceptability and effectiveness of fossil energy saving policies? Through a conjoint analysis among 260 participants in the Netherlands, different policies to encourage fossil energy saving have been evaluated.

The first results show that:

Policies focused on technology investment,  adoption of energy-efficiency appliances are positively and most strongly related to acceptability (+). On the contrary, policies focused on behaviour change – switching energy use to times when demand is low or lowering the heater- were negatively related to acceptability (-).


Behaviour change policies (e.g., lowering the heater) become more acceptable, the stronger people perceive the government as taking care of the environment  (revenues go environmental causes)

Pull measures (decreasing the costs of sustainable energy behaviour) were positively related to acceptability (+), while push measures (increasing the costs for unsustainable energy behaviour) were negatively related to acceptability (-).


Push measures become more acceptable, the stronger one’s environmental self-identity and personal norms