Department of Management

Exploring private consumers’ willingness to adopt Smart Grid technology

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal article


The goal of radically increasing the proportion of electricity generated from renewable sources puts the current electrical grid under pressure and one of the solutions is to turn the grid into a ‘Smart Grid’. One of the key elements of the Smart Grid is that electricity consumers make some of their consumption available as flexible capacity to balance the grid. Consumers’ flexible capacity is only available to the grid if the consumers adopt Smart Grid technology (SGT) that establishes the link between the electric system and the consumer. This technology is new to private consumers and using it involves behavioural changes. There is a need to get more insight into who are willing to adopt SGT and why. This study draws on innovation adoption theory as a framework for understanding consumer adoption of this new technology. We explore whether consumers who have already adopted other types of new energy technology, such as a geothermal heat pump, are more favourably disposed towards SGT than other consumers. Also, we explore how consumers who have signed up to let their heat pump be used as flexible capacity in a test trial differ from other heat pump owners, if at all. We used semi-structured interviews with household members as well as a questionnaire to explore differences between three groups: households with (1) a heat pump with SGT (n = 11), (2) a heat pump-only (n = 7), or (3) an oil-fired boiler (n = 6). We find that the families in the three groups perceive the technology characteristics differently and those who have trial experience with SGT are most in favour of the technology.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Consumer Studies
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)648–660
StatePublished - 2015

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