Do energy consumers know best?

This week's chart of the week shows why a dogmatic adherence to the principle of 'individuals know best' is problematic when it comes to household energy consumption decisions.

As a general rule running our society on the assumption that individuals have a better understanding of what’s in their own best interests than external third parties works pretty well.  The disaster of centrally controlled communist economies is a testament to what happens when you completely subvert this rule.  But like all general theories of human and societal behaviour, it’s important to regularly test and assess it against real-world experience to make sure it’s valid for specific circumstances.  Humans are a funny and unpredictable lot, with a one rule fits all approach generally not all that effective.


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