Defining green electricity from a consumer’s perspective: A cross-market explorative input for policy makers and marketers

Friðrik Larsen, Þórhallur Guðlaugsson


The marketing of electricity is an increasingly significant issue following the liberalization of electricity markets. Substantial emphasis has been placed on green electricity, but the concept is vague to many consumers. In this paper, the focus is on defining green electricity from a consumer perspective and using the understanding gained to provide input for public energy policy and to improve the marketing activities of energy companies. The paper draws on findings from a qualitative study of focus groups that gathered consumer insights from five European countries. The authors argue that although defining green electricity from a consumer perspective is a complex process, several constructs, including sustainability/corporate social responsibility, local production, visual impact and saving energy, are key. The definition is strongly affected by other constructs, including scepticism, marketing, price, and the fact it does not matter who provides it as electricity looks the same to the consumer.


Energy policy; green electricity; marketing.


PDF (English)


M30; M38



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Útgefendur eru Viðskiptadeild Háskólans á Bifröst, Viðskiptafræðideild og Hagfræðideild Háskóla Íslands, Viðskiptafræðideild Háskólans í Reykjavík og Seðlabanki Íslands.

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