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Love Idahosa

Research Interests

  • Behavioural and Experimental Economics
  • Economics Education
  • Small Business Economics
  • Digital Transformation in the Global South
  • The Economics of Digitalization

A social constructionist approach to managing HVAC energy consumption using social norms - A randomised field experiment.Link opens in a new window

Energy Policy 154, 112293
Idahosa, L.O. and Akotey, J.O., 2021.
This study tests the hypothesis that thermal comfort is socially constructed and as such, social norms will be effective in influencing Heating Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) consumptions towards more sustainable levels. Within the framework of a randomized field experiment, the response of hotel guests to message prompts to set their room thermostat to a prescribed temperature was observed. Response behavior was monitored using temperature data logging devices which were placed in the hotel rooms. The data loggers recorded temperature readings from a sample size of 1047 guest stays. The findings suggest that social norms are effective in influencing hotel guests’ room temperature settings, indicating that thermal comfort may not only be a physiological and psychological need, but most importantly a social construct. The implication is that the future of the current unsustainable trend in resource consumption and Green House Gas pollution, driven by the increasing adoption of, and demands for, HVAC systems in buildings, can be modified towards more sustainable levels.

Energy (electricity) consumption in South African hotels: A panel data analysisLink opens in a new window

Energy and Buildings, 156, pp.207-217.
Idahosa, L.O., Marwa, N.N. and Akotey, J.O.
Addressing the large energy consumption of hotels requires an understanding of the factors that drive this consumption. This enquiry is crucial for South Africa which has experienced significant strain in meeting its domestic energy demand. This has occurred alongside increases in international tourists, adding to the pressure on already strained resources. This paper tests hypotheses on drivers of energy consumption in hotels using a novel panel dataset which presents daily consumption data for 22 hotels across South Africa. Findings from various specifications of the Dynamic Random Effects Model suggest that the number of rooms in a hotel, the services and facilities offered, and climatic conditions are strong drivers of consumption. While the role of occupancy could not be robustly ascertained due to severe data limitations, findings indicate that price regulation plays a significant role in curtailing electricity consumption, even in high-end hotels. Results further suggest that in the design of guidelines for energy efficiency in South African hotels, the energy consumption of the facilities and services offered should be the first point of call, and the strenuous impact of extreme weather conditions on energy consumption needs to be factored in at the phase of building design and construction.