BRU Programmes

We work with the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) as a part of the Programme of Research Investigating Consumer Evaluations (PRICE) Lab. As well as completed research on personal loans and car finance, we are currently working on mortgage switching. More here

As part of PRICE Lab, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities supports research on consumer decision-making for energy products. We have pre-tested the provision of “Estimated Annual Bills” for energy tariffs and investigated consumer attitudes and choices regarding the adoption of smart meters. More here

PRICE Lab also includes work with the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) to investigate how consumers choose communications products. Our experiments have examined choices with respect to mobile handset packages, broadband speeds and premium rate services. More here.

We have a programme of research on obesity and food choice funded by the Department of Health. A first study pre-tested formats for calorie posting on restaurant menus using eye-tracking. More here.

A programme of research with the Pensions Authority has examined comprehension of pensions and the effect on decision making. We have tested benefit statements and different ways of presenting information on investments and annuities. More here.

We are conducting a series of studies funded by the OECD and the Water Industry Commission of Scotland, designed to inform a strategic review of water regulation and charges in Scotland. Our experiments investigate how people resolve various trade-offs between charges, services, and risks. More here.

We have a research programme on farmers’ noncompliance with EU Nitrates Regulations, funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM). We analyse data to identify farms at risk of noncompliance and run behavioural tests of communications to the farmers. More here.

A rolling programme of research funded by the Environmental Protection Agency has investigated how the presentation of environmental information affects consumer choice A recent study examined the long-term impact of the Green-Schools Programme on environmental understanding and behaviour. More here.

We are working with Sport Ireland to improve physical activity and sports participation among socially disadvantaged communities in Ireland. This two phase programme has reviewed international research to inform designs for trials of interventions in Ireland. More here.

We study public perceptions of mineral exploration and environmental risks, in collaboration with the Geological Survey of Ireland. This forms a part of a wider EU-funded Horizon 2020 project about innovation in exploration techniques. More here.

We work with Irish Water to assist their lead mitigation programme. The first two strands of this programme involved an analysis of communications sent to homeowners and reviewed the relevant literature on behavioural change. A trial testing new communications is set to be undertaken in 2019. More here.

Research funded by the OECD is looking at online disclosures about personalised pricing. In 2019, we conduct experiments in Ireland and abroad to investigate the effects of disclosure on consumer decisions. More here.

An experiment undertaken in collaboration with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland involves testing the BER certificate. We are trying different formats to see how well they communicate information about household energy efficiency. More here.

We undertake research on decisions involving financial products for the Central Bank of Ireland. The most recent report consisted of a review of financial product features that cause consumers difficulty. More here.

We designed and regularly conduct a training course for European Commission staff on how to apply behavioural science to policy.