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WIREs Clim Change
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Domestic energy consumption and climate change mitigation

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In this overview, we use domestic energy use as a lens through which to look at climate change mitigation. First, we provide a brief overview of research on domestic energy use, covering four main disciplines: engineering, economics, psychology, and sociology. We then discuss the results of empirical studies that examine how households may be encouraged to reduce their energy use and help mitigate climate change. We include research findings in three key areas: technological innovations, economic incentives, and informational interventions. We outline the effectiveness of each of these approaches in encouraging domestic energy conservation and provide instances where such approaches have not been effective. Building on this established body of knowledge on direct energy consumption (i.e., electricity, gas, and fuel consumption), we highlight applications for addressing indirect energy consumption (i.e., energy embedded in the products households consume) by discussing its implications for sustainable food consumption as a climate mitigation option. We conclude this overview by outlining how research from the four disciplines might be better integrated in future research to advance domestic energy conservation theory and empirical studies.

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  • Perceptions, Behavior, and Communication of Climate Change > Behavior Change and Responses

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Perceptions, Behavior, and Communication of Climate Change > Behavior Change and Responses

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