Money or mind? What matters most in influencing low-income earners to be energy efficient?

Rebekah Russell-Bennett, Rory Mulcahy, Jo Anne Little, Tim Swinton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Designing a social marketing intervention for low-income earners requires an understanding of the key motivations. As part of the Low-Income Earner Energy Efficiency Programme, this study investigates the key factors that influence energy behaviours amongst Australian young low-income earners as part of the Reduce Your Juice social marketing programme. The authors also investigate the effect of gender. Design/methodology/approach: An online survey of 753 low-income renters was conducted using validated measures. The data were analysed using structural equation modelling. Findings: The two factors that had the highest influence on intentions for energy-saving behaviours was the “mind” factor of self-efficacy and “money” factor of price concern. There were gender differences in the effect of bill control and price concern on intentions for different energy efficiency behaviours. Practical implications: This study provides guidance on the factors to emphasise when designing an energy efficiency programme for low-income earners. Social implications: This study provides evidence for different motivations amongst low-income earners for energy efficiency programmes and that a “one size fits all” approach may not be effective. Originality/value: While there is high interest in the public sector for motivating young-adult low-income earners to change their energy behaviours, little is known about the key factors that motivate intentions to engage in these behaviours.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-23
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Social Marketing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


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