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date: 14 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on the well-documented misalignment between energy-related behaviors and the personal values of consumers, which has become a major source of angst among policymakers. Despite widespread pro-environmental or green attitudes, consumers frequently purchase non-green alternatives. The chapter identifies 50 theoretical approaches that can be divided almost equally into two types: those that emphasize beliefs, attitudes, and values; and those that also consider contextual factors and social norms. Three principles of intervention are recommended: provide credible and targeted information at points of decision; identify and address the key factors inhibiting and promoting the target behaviors in particular populations; and rigorously evaluate programs to provide credible estimates of impact and opportunities for improvement. The chapter recommends that research on the value-action gap be expanded beyond the traditional focus on individuals to include decision-making units such as households, boards of directors, commercial buying units, and government procurement groups.

Keywords: energy, green, consumer, social norm, value-action gap

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