Energy Conservation

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A Study of Factors Influencing Energy Conservation Behavior
Richard Semenik, University of Utah
Russell Belk, University of Utah
John Painter, University of Utah
ABSTRACT - Previous research on factors that influence energy conservation behavior have almost without exception been restricted to demographic investigations using bivariate analyses. The present study attempts to go beyond prior research by using a richer set of non-demographic predictors in the context of gasoline conservation. Multivariate analysis of the predictors suggests that greater understanding of conserver and non-conserver groups can be achieved with a broader set of predictor variables. [ to cite ]:

Richard Semenik, Russell Belk, and John Painter (1982) ,"A Study of Factors Influencing Energy Conservation Behavior", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 09, eds. Andrew Mitchell, Ann Abor, MI : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 306-312.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, 1982 Pages 306-312
A STUDY OF FACTORS INFLUENCING ENERGY CONSERVATION BEHAVIOR
Richard Semenik, University of Utah
Russell Belk, University of Utah
John Painter, University of Utah
ABSTRACT -
Previous research on factors that influence energy conservation behavior have almost without exception been restricted to demographic investigations using bivariate analyses. The present study attempts to go beyond prior research by using a richer set of non-demographic predictors in the context of gasoline conservation. Multivariate analysis of the predictors suggests that greater understanding of conserver and non-conserver groups can be achieved with a broader set of predictor variables. INTRODUCTION

The energy problems first highlighted by the 1973-74 gasoline and fuel oil shortages have spawned a considerable number of research efforts on the topic of energy conservation. Reviews by Anderson and Cullen (1979), Farhar, et al. (1979), Frankena, Buttell, and Morrison (1977), and Joerges (1979) classify over 300 energy consumption studies conducted during the Seventies. A major thrust in many of these studies has been the detection of factors affecting energy conservation. Such a focus on understanding who conserves and why they do so, is of obvious concern for formulating realistic public policies, effectively encouraging energy conservation, and recognizing problems in operationalizing energy conservation plans. However, despite the fact that a number of studies have been directed at finding correlates of energy conservation attitudes and behavior their findings have generally been weak and often contradictory. The following sections review the findings for the major categories of predictors which have been examined and discusses reasons for the inconsistencies. FACTORS RELATED TO INDIVIDUAL ENERGY CONSERVATION

Income
The one factor most studied for its relationship to energy conservation has been income. Income-related influences on conservation or non-conservation of energy seem to be sufficient to have created a confusing set of findings. Based on general indices or questions about energy conservation behavior some studies have found positive associations between energy conservation and income (Grier, 1976; Talarzyk and Omura, 1974) and between energy conservation and social class (Bultena, 1976). However other studies have found negative associations between energy conservation and income (Cunningham and Lopreato, 1977; Opinion Research Corporation, 1975c) as well as between energy conservation and social class (Gottlieb and Matre, 1975)o Still other studies have found that the middle income classes report the greatest level of energy conservation (Warren and Cliffords 1975; Kilkeary, 1975). And still other studies report no significant relationship between energy conservation and income (Hogan, 1976; Bartel, 1974). The same inconsistent pattern of findings has emerged when conservation of specific...
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