For an effective consumer energy policy, it is important to know why some households require more energy than others. The aim of the study described here was to examine whether there is a relationship between the total household energy requirement, on one hand, and value patterns, the motivation to save energy or the problem perception of climate change, on the other. To examine these relationships, we held a consumer survey among 2304 respondent households. We did not find significant differences in the energy requirement of groups of households with different value patterns, taking into account the differences in the socio-economic situation of households. Only for the 'motivation to save energy' we did find that the least motivated group requires 10 GJ more energy than the average and most motivated groups; this is about 4% of the total household energy requirement. This means that a self-regulating energy policy, solely based on the fact that a strategy of internalising environmental responsibility will not be effective in saving energy. There are indications that a social dilemma is one of the reasons why people's consumption patterns do not conform to their value patterns, problem perception or motivation to save energy.
- Household consumption pattern
- Value patterns