CMU Researchers Find Consumers Choose More Efficient Light Bulbs When Energy Costs Are Labeled-Mechanical Engineering - Carnegie Mellon University

Sunday, February 9, 2014

CMU Researchers Find Consumers Choose More Efficient Light Bulbs When Energy Costs Are Labeled

In yesterday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Associate Professor Jeremy Michalek, along with fellow researchers, Jihoon Min (a doctoral candidate in Engineering and Public Policy), Assistant Professor Ines Azevedo, and University of Leeds Professor Wandi Bruin de Bruin discuss their findings on how consumers choose light bulbs.

Michalek says, "We found that the bulbs had a better fighting chance if consumers were aware of savings during buying.  We know consumers value up-front savings far more than they value future savings. But with light bulbs, consumers appear to value up-front savings far more than future savings (irrationally so), which puts energy efficient bulbs at an unfair disadvantage. However, when the package includes an estimate of the energy cost to operate each bulb, consumers pay more attention to the future savings and are more willing to adopt efficient bulbs."

For more information, see CMU's Press Release.

Michalek is the Director of the Vehicle Electrification Group.