The barriers that prevent teen energy conservation: Age and gender differences

Kerry Rulton, Nicola Toth, Beth Bell, Linda Little

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Introduction: Households with teenagers use significantly more electricity than households without teenagers (Peter & Gram-Hansen, 2005). Therefore, energy conservation among this age group is important. The present research aimed to identify which barriers teenagers’ felt were the most potent in inhibiting energy saving behaviours, and also examine gender and age and differences. Design: 57 males and 45 females, aged between 12 and 15 rated 11 potential barriers identified in previous research; knowledge, responsibility, lifestyle, habit, detached from the problem, financial responsibility, time, inconvenient appliances, cool, role models and information to energy conservation according to how important they perceived them to be and to confirm that they existed. Results: Lack of financial responsibility for household electricity consumption was found to be the most important barrier to teenagers’ energy saving behaviour, whereas knowledge about negative environmental consequences of electricity consumption was identified as not being a barrier to this age group. Gender differences in perceived importance of barriers were found, in that males rated lifestyle as a significantly more important barrier than females. Males also rated information as a significantly more important barrier than females. Age-related differences in the perceived importance of financial responsibility as a barrier was found, as younger adolescents were more likely to rate this as more important than older adolescents. In contrast, older adolescents rated having poor role models (i.e. parents who did not engage in energy saving behaviour) to be more important in prohibiting energy saving than younger adolescents. Discussion: The present research has implications for the development of strategies for the reduction of energy consumption amongst teenagers.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2013
EventBritish Psychological Society Annual Conference 2013 - Harrogate, UK
Duration: 9 Apr 2013 → …


ConferenceBritish Psychological Society Annual Conference 2013
Period9/04/13 → …


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