One caveat should be noted when using peer comparisons. It is important to con-sider carefully how information is elicited. Several studies have found that, while above-average energy consumers significantly decrease their energy use, below-average con-sumers may increase their energy use.In addition, individuals with strong environmental ideologies primarily related tooverly strong environmental regulation might respond to information disseminationwith protest behaviour thus increasing their energy use. The latter effect, termed the“boomerang effect”, may call for targeting information only to expected above-aver-age consumers, or coupling the information with not only normative, but also conjunc-tive messages, e.g. in the form of unhappy “emoticons.” Receiving a happy emoticonhas been shown to remove the boomerang effect for below-average consumers.
“Make dishwashers great again. It should not take 2-3 hours to clean a dishwasher full of dirty dishes,” writes consumer Laurelle Hess in one of more than 2,000 public comments collected by the Department of Energy in response to a rule-making petition from the Competitive Enterprise Institute. The free-market think tank is asking the feds to reconsider their long-term campaign to degrade the kitchen appliance.