We study how to foster engagement in the energy sector, a market where signals about consumption are opaque and infrequent. We investigate the impact of an intervention aimed at fostering natural gas self-reading, which allows utilities to bill customers on the basis of their real and not of their estimated consumption. Since utilities all over the world are relying heavily on users to submit their meter readings to achieve billing accuracy, understanding how to engage consumers is an important policy issue. In our study, messages that induce a sense of urgency are two times more effective than the generic messages in encouraging self-readings, consistent with previous research on the urgency effect. Our findings suggest that the increased sense of urgency moves to action customer with both high and low levels of prior engagement, but that the effect on the former is stronger.
Urgency and engagement: a field experiment of the impact of message content on consumption awareness
|Urgency and engagement: a field experiment of the impact of message content on consumption awareness|
|Giovanna d’Adda, Arianna Galliera and Massimo Tavoni|
|Journal of Economic Psychology , Available online, 102275 - 21 April 2020|