The power of defaults

People say they want green energy, but they don’t buy it.

Pichert 1.png

If you change the default, people change what they buy.

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Pichert, D. and Katsikopoulos, K. (2008). Green Defaults: Information Presentation and ProEnvironmental Behaviour. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 28, pp.63–73.

(And an interesting note about ‘custom’ers…)

Pichert 2.png

This RCT finds that merely leaving a box ticked for green energy creates a massive difference in take up

Ebeling 1.png

Ebeling 2.png

Ebeling, F. and Lotz, S. (2015). Domestic Uptake of Green Energy Promoted by Opt-Out Tariffs. Nature Climate Change 5, pp.868–871

Defaults are problematic in some cases – for example, they don’t evoke commitment. One alternative is ‘Enhanced Active Choice’: alternatives are presented freely, but the merits of one or other are highlighted…Keller 1.png

As well as gaining high numbers taking the policymaker’s preferred choice, this also generates more commitment…Keller 2.png

Keller, P., Harlam, B., Loewenstein, G. and Volpp, K. (2011). Enhanced Active Choice: A new Method to Motivate Behavior Change. Journal of Consumer Psychology 21, pp.376–383.

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