As interest in consumer responses to price signals from utilities, simple assumptions about rationality should be tempered with attention to research that has been conducted over the last 30 years.
A few highlights:
1976: The importance of education that draws on the local, specific rather than the global and the abstract.
1978: Signaling devices decrease consumption by 15.7%.
1978: Token rewards produce savings (22.5%).
1980: Superior results for individuals in groups (20%) versus individuals alone (15%).
1985: Consumers underestimate efficiency savings and overestimate management and curtailment.
1999: Wide discrepancy between pro conservation attitudes and actual behavior.
2002: The value of goal setting independent of money saving – a 20% reduction.