The Household Energy Gap

The Household Energy Gap

Cluster 1:‘Committed environmentalists’: When examined regarding purchase decisions, it is clear that of the four clusters, this group was most likely to buy not only energy-saving light bulbs but also energy-efficient devices (Barr, Ford, & Gilg, 2005). When it comes to habits, committed environmentalists were most likely to practice environmentally friendly behaviors such as green consumption, composting, reducing the temperature of hot water, reducing heat in unoccupied rooms, switching off lights in vacant rooms, wearing more clothes before switching on or increasing their heating, waste recycling, and only using the washing machine at full capacity.

Cluster 2:‘Mainstream environmentalists’: The trends observed in this category are very identical to those associated with committed environmentalists, especially concerning their purchase decisions(Barr, Ford, & Gilg, 2005). The energy-saving behaviors of this group are only slightly dissimilar to those of committed environmentalists. However, there is a significant variation concerning the degrees of composting.

Cluster 3:‘Occasional environmentalists’: There is a notable difference in the energy-saving habits of mainstream and occasional environmentalists (Barr, Ford, & Gilg, 2005). Specifically, occasional environmentalists were less likely to engage in energy-saving practices such as putting on more attire to keep warm instead of using heating and moderating their heating than their mainstream counterparts.

Cluster 4:‘Non-environmentalists’:The most significant change is seen when comparing occasional and non-environmentalists. Non-environmentalists seldom purchased or showed an interest in energy-saving products (Barr, Ford, & Gilg, 2005). At the same time, for this group the likelihood of embracing energy-efficient habits, such as turning off lights in empty rooms, hinged on the level of comfort they would have to sacrifice and the amount of effort they would have to invest. Nevertheless, a little more than 60% of individuals belonging to this cluster usually followed energy-saving routines (Barr, Ford, & Gilg, 2005). For example, just 50% used the washing machine at maximum capacity, more than 80% never or seldom moderated the temperature of hot water to conserve energy, 75% were reluctant to wear more clothes rather than turning up the hearing (Barr, Ford, & Gilg, 2005).

The essence of the findings is clear as they demonstrate the existence of specific habitual tendencies that can be determined in various groups of people, especially non-environmentalists.



Barr, S., Ford, N., & Gilg, A.W. (2005). The household energy gap: examining the divide

between habitual- and purchase-related conservation behaviours. Energy Policy, 33, 1425-1444.

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