Residential demand-side response in the UK: maximising consumer uptake and response

Gross, Matthew John (2018) Residential demand-side response in the UK: maximising consumer uptake and response. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

Residential demand-side response (DSR) is a key strategy for meeting the challenges facing the UK electricity system. Leveraging residential flexibility should help to enhance system reliability, reduce carbon emissions, support the integration of renewables into the energy mix and deliver a lower-cost electricity system. However, the viability of residential DSR hinges on two critical factors: consumers will first need to switch to DSR programmes in sufficient numbers and then successfully respond by adjusting their consumption patterns accordingly.
This thesis explores how to optimise the impact of residential DSR by examining the enablers and constraints of uptake and response. While participation is primarily encouraged through financial incentives, studies suggest that some consumers may be willing to participate for nonfinancial reasons. As such, this thesis also explores how environmental and pro-social motivations could be leveraged to help promote uptake and response.
The thesis contributes to the knowledge on DSR by testing UK consumer preferences for different programme models through a large-scale online survey and identifying measures which could help to maximise uptake. It also explores the potential afforded by dynamic information-only programmes through a trial based on available wind generation. The thesis further makes a theoretical contribution by exploring how the Fogg Behaviour Model (FBM) can be used to conceptualise the enablers and constraints of uptake and response. By mapping these factors to the FBM’s core components of ability, motivation and trigger, the model is refined as a tool for understanding how to optimise the impact of residential DSR.
The research reveals that information-only DSR programmes may represent a significant untapped resource. Approximately 8% of a representative sample of UK consumers indicated a preference for this model over more conventional price-based programmes; while trial households succeeded in reducing electricity consumption by 9.9% on average when asked to consume less and increasing consumption by 4.4% on average when asked to consume more. These promising findings may help to inform policy and programme design as the UK energy system evolves towards a renewables-based future.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic theory. Demography > HB0801 Consumption. Demand > HB0820 Household consumption. Consumer demand
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery > TJ0163.13 Power resources
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery > TJ0807 Renewable energy sources
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2018 14:14
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2018 14:43
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/76881

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