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Guy Champniss9/13/16 12:00 AM1 min read

One assumption we really shouldn’t make when it comes to energy saving behavior.

Last month we shared the results of a study we ran with Enervee Marketplace, to better understand and test the effects of the platform on nudging people toward making more efficient product purchases. The results showed that our Enervee Score — as a clear 0–100 score for every product — consistently drives visitors to make significantly more energy efficient preferences — 15%-20% more efficient, to put a number on it. You can read the full piece here, if you’re interested.

However, when we ran that study, we knew the design would not answer one of the most hardy of questions posed by critics of driving more energy efficient behavior: isn’t saving energy and the environment reserved exclusively for those who have the lifestyle and money to care?

Put another way, can people who are on low incomes, with tight budgets and probably thinking more day-to-day, also afford to make energy efficient choices when replacing appliances for their homes?

Once again, we created a controlled version of Marketplace featuring a selection of washing machines, and manipulated respondents’ access to one of four variations of the site: Enervee Score (yes/no) and Energy Savings (yes/no). We also once again measured if respondents felt the platform was overtly pro-environmental and energy saving in its design, and what their general views were toward the environment (based on a tried and tested scale).

The results both support the earlier conclusions and reveal the potential for Marketplace to operate on multiple levels for different types of appliance shopper.

Once again we see the significant effect of the Enervee Score nudging people toward making more efficient choices. Whether recording their first choice for a new machine, or aggregating their top three choices, when the Enervee Score is present on the platform, low-income respondents steer themselves toward significantly more efficient products.