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Cost, context, or convenience? Exploring the social acceptance of demand response in the United Kingdom

Naghiyev, Eldar; Shipman, Rob; Goulden, Murray; Gillott, Mark; Spence, Alexa

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Eldar Naghiyev

Associate Professor

Professor of Sustainable Building Design


The energy sector, and buildings in particular, are one of the main contributors to climate change. Demand-Side Management (DSM) has the potential to realise energy savings on the demand as well as the supply side. However, the domestic sector still presents a major challenge due to its complex nature, one of which is the element of human interaction. A series of case studies comparing different user interface designs were undertaken to investigate domestic Demand Response (DR) in relation to automated washing appliances and their effects on occupants. Focus groups were used to inform the study design and to cross-validate case study findings. The aim was to identify factors that may influence adoption and implementation of DR, in particular incentives and feedback methods. The results highlighted the importance of the intrinsic features of the controlled appliances as well as the wider social and physical environments they were operated in. The dynamics within households with limited resources, such as time and space, meant that convenience was key regarding DR system adoption, whilst financial incentives were suitable for initial user attraction. Dynamic pricing, commonly featured in DSM systems, was also shown to stress household practices and to cause both, efficient and inefficient energy use, if coupled with automation. Furthermore, the agency, clarity and reliability of control and feedback mechanisms were found to be crucial with regards to DR acceptance. The study suggests that convenience, including ease of system operation and household practice integration, should be DR's primary guiding design principle.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 8, 2021
Online Publication Date Dec 27, 2021
Publication Date May 1, 2022
Deposit Date Jan 11, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 28, 2022
Journal Energy Research and Social Science
Print ISSN 2214-6296
Publisher Elsevier BV
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 87
Article Number 102469
Keywords Demand Side Management; Home Automation; Behaviour; User Interface; User Experience; Real-Time Pricing
Public URL
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