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    Household energy conservation is an important contributor to achieve the carbon emission reduction target. However, the actual energy-saving effect of Chinese households is under expectation. One reason for this is because household energy consumption is locked in at a certain level, which has become an obstacle to household carbon emission reduction. In order to reduce this obstacle, this study explored the cause of household carbon lock-in based on grounded theory, targeting newly furnished households. A theoretical model was developed to reveal the formation mechanism of carbon lock-in effect in the purchasing process of household energy-using appliances. NVivo 12 software was used to analyze the decoration diaries of 616 sample households, and the results showed that (1) the direct antecedent of the household carbon lock-in effect was the lock-in of purchasing behavior, and the household carbon lock-in effect was mainly exhibited in the consumption path dependence (of energy-using appliances) and the solidification of energy structure; (2) the willingness to purchase household appliances was the direct antecedent of purchasing behavioral lock-in, and the cost had a moderating effect on the transformation from purchase willingness to behavioral lock-in; and (3) in the process of purchasing household appliances, reference groups, value perception, and ecological awareness can promote purchasing behavioral lock-in by affecting willingness of purchase. Suggestions to promote unlocking of household carbon were also proposed.


    Lingyun Mi, Yuhuan Sun, Lijie Qiao, Tianwen Jia, Yang Yang, Tao Lv. Analysis of the Cause of Household Carbon Lock-In for Chinese Urban Households. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2021 Feb 23;18(4)

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    PMID: 33672356

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