Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Understanding Energy Conservation in Laos: An Examination of Psychological and Socio-Demographic Determinants of Households’ Intentions to Adopt Energy Conservation Behaviour

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posted on 2023-05-25, 14:30 authored by Phomsoupha, Diane

Over the past decades, Laos has experienced an increase in household energy consumption due to population growth and economic expansion. As the country continues to develop, the demand for energy is expected to grow, presenting a significant challenge for Laos in achieving its target of carbon neutrality by 2050. To achieve a transition towards a low-carbon future, increasing the uptake of energy efficiency and conservation in the home is considered to be a key strategy. However, there is a lack of in-depth research on the factors that motivate households in Laos to engage in energy conservation behaviour. Understanding the key determinants of people’s willingness to engage in energy-saving behaviour is vital in informing future policy interventions that aim to encourage households to reduce their energy use.

People’s willingness to engage in household energy-saving behaviours can be associated with many factors. Using the Value-Belief-Norm theory (Stern, 2000) as a theoretical framework, this study examined two broad factors that have been recognised in the literature as important in explaining energy conservation behaviour: socio-demographic (such as age, gender, level of education and household characteristics) and psychological factors (such as values, environmental beliefs, and personal norms). The study further explored the role of these factors in predicting the willingness for households to adopt energy conservation behaviour. A sample of 304 residents in Laos took part in a survey. The results of the quantitative analysis indicated that psychological factors, especially personal norms, awareness of consequences and self-transcendence values, play a significant role in predicting people’s willingness to engage in energy-saving behaviour. While a correlation between socio-demographic factors and the willingness to adopt energy-saving behaviour was observed, these factors were not found to be significant in predicting behavioural intentions when the other variables were controlled for in a regression analysis. The findings of this study then, provide useful insights for policy development, particularly in the design of interventions to promote behaviour change related to energy efficiency and conservation.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Environmental Studies

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Environmental Studies

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

199999 Other environmental policy, climate change and natural hazards not elsewhere classified

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

3 Applied research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences


Abrahamse, Wokje