Socio-demographic factors’ influence on the energy-saving behaviour of residential consumers: Evidence from Romania

In the context of various attempts to regulate energy consumption and educate consumers in the spirit of sustainable behavior, this paper aims to identify the role of the main socio-demographic factors on the decision to adopt measures to reduce consumption and save energy. Many studies have approached similar topics, but correlating their conclusions, it can be deduced that psycho-socio-demographic factors interact differently from one country to another, depending on the economic and political context of the moment. From the fact that in the former communist countries, the severe political regime subjected the population to very restrictive living conditions, based on deprivations that led to the formation of a traditional saving behavior and, on the other hand, considering the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that shape the young generation in the spirit of sustainable society, the authors aimed to study the correlation between socio-demographic factors (age, gender, education, professional status, income) and consumption and energy saving behavior at residential level, in an ex-communist state, Romania. For this purpose, quantitative research was carried out based on the answers of 865 subjects to the questionnaire distributed at the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest and in the immediate environment to the members of the university community, using convenience sampling. Using descriptive statistical indicators and linear regression techniques, the intensity of correlation between selected variables was determined and the degree of differentiation of the purchasing and use behavior of green-label household appliances was analysed, as well as the population’s availability to adopt some energy-saving methods. Although the sample is not representative, the conclusions are that measures to reduce energy consumption must be voluntary and stratified, depending on the nature of social and demographic factors.