Research Report

Energy Labels Affect Behavior on Rental Listing Websites: A Controlled Experiment

May 17, 2022

This first-of-its-kind discrete choice experiment found that renters are more likely to choose energy-efficient homes and less likely to choose inefficient homes when energy information labels are included in rental listings (something that is almost never done in today’s rental market). They were also willing to pay higher rents for more energy-efficient units. The experiment asked a nationally representative sample of 2,455 renters to use a mock-rental listing website to search for their next home. Some participants saw listings with energy efficiency information labels presented in one of six possible formats, while participants in the control groups saw listings with no energy information. Participants who saw energy information chose energy-efficient homes more often and inefficient homes less often than the participants in the control group. This report summarizes the findings from the experiment, explains the key design features of effective energy labels, and provides recommendations to local policymakers for designing and implementing energy disclosure policies for rental properties.

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Suggested citation:
Sussman, R., H. Bastian, S. Conrad, E. Cooper, E. Tong, A. Sherpa, and S. Pourfalatoun. 2022. Energy Labels Affect Behavior on Rental Listing Websites: A Controlled Experiment. Washington, DC: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.


This Article Was About

Homes and Multifamily Buildings Local and Community Initiatives Energy Efficiency Resource Standards (EERS)


Reuven Sussman
Director; Behavior, Health and Human Dimensions Program
hannah bastain
Hannah Bastian
Steven Conrad
Emma Cooper
Emma Cooper, Senior Research Analyst, Human Behavior and State Policy
Elizabeth Tong
Ang Sherpa
Shiva Pourfalatoun
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