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Policy Insights in Environment, Energy, & Climate Change

J-PAL’s Environment, Energy, & Climate Change Sector focuses on energy access, pollution reduction, and climate change. Our policy insight below summarizes emerging lessons from randomized evaluations on the impact of social comparisons on home energy and water consumption. 

Michael Greenstone (University of Chicago) and Kelsey Jack (University of California, Santa Barbara), Environment & Energy Co-Chairs


Encouraging residential energy efficiency

Last updated: November 2019
Programs that encouraged investments in residential energy efficiency had limited returns in several impact evaluations in real-world settings. Relatively small impacts on energy savings coupled with low take-up meant that encouraging these investments through information campaigns and subsidies was not a cost-effective strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Read More
Electricity meters track residential energy use. Photo:

Reducing energy and water use through information and social comparisons

Last updated: April 2018
Providing people with information about their energy or water use compared to their neighbors and tips about how to conserve consistently reduced consumption by small amounts in many contexts. Read More

Sector Chairs

Kelsey Jack


Sector Contacts

Claire Walsh

Senior Policy Manager

[email protected]
(617) 324-4076

Rebecca Toole

Senior Policy Associate

[email protected]
(617) 324-1641