People's values are an integral part of their lifestyles. In an attempt to identifying energy-saving lifestyles, of which dissemination is a policy agenda under the current strategic energy plan of Japan, this study aims to investigate the relationship between people's values and other determinant factors behind energy-saving behaviors. This is especially worthwhile in view of the paradigm shift, entailing changes in people's lifestyles and values, occurred in post-Fukushima Japan.
As the conceptual framework, this study adopts Schwartz's basic human value theory combined with Hirose's dual-process model for eco-friendly behavior: socially oriented values are related to factors that form energy-attitude and therefore a higher level of behavioral intention and actual behaviors taken, whereas personally oriented values form behavioral intention without a corresponding development of energy-attitude and are thus more energy consuming. An all-electric apartment with home energy management systems (HEMS) in Yokohama, Japan, is targeted as a case study. Behavioral intention and actual behavioral indicators declared by respondents in a questionnaire are first used as dependent variables to explore relationships between people's values and other factors
The results indicate a relationship between social, namely self-transcendent, values and mediating factors that lead to forming of energy-attitude, and therefore a higher behavioral intention. But the relationship weakens with the level of action actually taken. In line with earlier researches, values per se are not suitable to explain the complexity of people's decision-making in everyday life: demographic characteristics are to have stronger effects on actual behavior than on behavioral intention. This, in all, suggests a complexity of defining energy-saving lifestyle in the context of everyday life. Yet, fostering self-transcendent values is important in linking people's behavioral intentions to actual actions, and thus in realizing energy-saving lifestyles. Future studies with the use of electricity consumption as dependent variables as well as with larger samples will be worthwhile to further evaluate the relationship between people's values, mediating factors and electricity consumption.