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Exploring barriers and motivations of the Peruvian household’s owner to reduce their water and electricity consumption
Lima is the world´s second largest desert city with 10 million inhabitants, which is highly dependent on natural resources to provide energy and drinking water. The residential sector in Lima consumes around 15% of Peru’s energy: 52% being hydroelectric energy, which is relying on rain and deglaciation, and 48% comes from burning gas, which contributes negatively to climate change. Water scarcity will likely worsen in the coming years because of the effects of climate change on rainfall patterns (droughts and floods). Thus, it is of critical importance to reduce our water and energy consumption. The study aimed to explore barriers and opportunities for “green consumption” in Lima: eco-efficient products to reduce water and energy consumption at the residential level. Focus groups were applied to homeowners from two districts in Lima, districts were chosen for their very distinct socioeconomic status. The themes included the perception of one’s own potential to reduce water and electricity consumption; knowledge of eco-efficient and ecofriendly products; and key factors important in an eco-efficient product. In general, the study found that homeowners were pessimistic about their ability to reduce their water and energy consumption. Participants expressed distrust towards utility companies, which they blamed for fluctuations in charges instead of their own consumption. Knowledge regarding eco-efficient products and behaviors was varied. Prior negative experiences with eco-efficient products dissuaded some participants from purchasing products. This could be due to mismarketing, where expected reductions are not achieved. These negative experiences may impact in the introduction of new eco-efficient products in the market. The information we gathered could serve to inform businesses and governmental institutions that are interested in promoting water and electricity efficient use, considering the potential impacts of climate change.