Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics
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The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Business Administration

No 2002:12:
Energy Policy Options - from the Perspective of Public Attitudes and Risk Perceptions

Mattias Viklund ()

Abstract: In the present study a representative sample (N = 797) of the Swedish population was surveyed, with regard to attitudes related to energy policy issues (e.g., environmental attitudes, risk perceptions, and attitudes towards different energy production systems) and self-reported electricity saving behavior. These factors were considered relevant in a Swedish energy policy context, because of the planned phase-out of nuclear power. Citizens’ attitudes have traditionally been important factors in energy policy-making, especially nuclear policy, and one of the conditions for a successful phase-out is increased levels of electricity savings among households and in industry, in order to compensate for the loss in energy production. Respondents reported positive attitudes to the environment in general and to electricity saving, while the attitudes to nuclear power as an energy production system in Sweden were relatively negative. Perceived risk was an important predictor of these attitudes and it was concluded that it is important to investigate mechanisms behind this variable. The relationship between attitudes towards electricity saving and electricity saving behavior was weak. It is discussed whether the contribution of psychological knowledge in energy conservation campaigns could be to elaborate on people’s willingness to be moral and public-spirited citizens in combination with their pro-environmental attitudes. This work was supported by grants from NUTEK and FRN. Viklund (1999) presented more data from the survey referred to here.

Keywords: energy policy; electricity saving; risk perception; attitudes; behavior; (follow links to similar papers)

37 pages, August 21, 2002

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