Factors Contributing to the Purchase of Energy-Efficient Appliances in Malaysia

Teddy Lian Kok Fei
Department of International Business, Faculty of Accountancy and Management, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman


There is a growing realisation of the adverse impacts of climate change as it continues to grow more serious. One promising area for greenhouse gas mitigation is using energy-efficient appliances. This study identified the factors that contribute to using energy-efficient appliances in Malaysia. It utilised variables from the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), attitude, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control. This basic model is extended with the additional variables of habit, environmental concern, environmental knowledge, and energy efficiency policy to explain the purchase of energy-efficient appliances. Apart from direct effects, the study also tested indirect effects of habit. A final set of 147 responses was collected through purposive sampling and analysed using partial least squares. The findings show that habit is the most critical direct variable contributing to the purchase of energy-efficient appliances. Other influential variables are attitude, perceived behavioural control, and environmental concern. Together, these four variables explain 65.4 per cent of the variance in the purchase of energy-efficient appliances. Furthermore, habit also mediates the effects of perceived behavioural control, subjective norms, and environmental knowledge on the purchase of energy-efficient appliances. Overall, the study points to the importance of including both habitual and intentional variables when buying energy-efficient appliances. In addition, the study indicates the need for the government to use different types of intervention, such as labelling and setting standards, giving incentives, and providing information, to promote and diffuse the use of energy-efficient appliances. Such efforts cannot be done only in short periods of time but must be continuous to be effective.

Keywords: Climate change, Energy-efficient appliances, Theory of Planned Behaviour, Habit, Energy-efficiency policy