A collaborative project by ADAPT Principal Investigator, Professor Declan O’Sullivan and Associate Professor in Economics at Trinity College Dublin, Dr Eleanor Denny, has been successful in the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) ‘New Horizons Interdisciplinary Award’.

The award, which is worth €220,000, was granted for a project titled ‘Nudging Energy Efficient Purchasing Decisions (NEEPD). The researchers aim to determine whether or not a lack of monetary information on electrical appliances at the retail level is slowing the move to more efficient technologies, or if the non-monetary efficient labeling currently provided is an adequate proxy of future costs.

Speaking about the project Professor O’Sullivan said: “Addressing issues of social, technical and policy relevance, this interdisciplinary project will analyse the effectiveness of the information provided through energy efficiency labeling in improving energy efficiency decisions by households. By assuming consumers do not fully understand or correctly interpret the information provided on energy labels, in particular how much the appliance will cost to operate, the researchers goal is to design an optimal method of relaying monetary information to consumers to advance our understanding of how consumers behave and interact with information provision across the disciplines of economics and computer science.”

The collaborative research project involves transferring information from behavioural economics and information technology laboratories into the real world through the use of a field experiment with a view to informing policy making in the area of energy efficiency.