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A systematic review of motivations, enablers and barriers for consumer engagement with residential demand response

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  • Bryony Parrish, Sussex University
  • ,
  • Phil Heptonstall, Imperial College London, London, UK.
  • ,
  • Rob Gross, Imperial College London, London, UK.
  • ,
  • Benjamin K. Sovacool

Demand response is increasingly attracting policy attention. It involves changing electricity demand at different times based on grid conditions, which could help to integrate variable renewable generation and new electric loads associated with decarbonisation. Residential consumers could offer a substantial new source of demand-side flexibility. However, while there is considerable evidence that at least some residential users engage with at least some forms of demand response, there is also considerable variation in user engagement. Better understanding this variation could help to predict demand response potential, and to engage and protect consumers participating in demand response. Based on a systematic review of international demand response trials, programmes and surveys, we identify motivations for participation, and barriers and enablers to engagement including familiarity and trust, perceived risk and control, complexity and effort, and consumer characteristics and routines. We then discuss how these factors relate to the features of different demand response products and services. While the complexity of the evidence makes it difficult to draw unequivocal conclusions, the findings of this review could contribute to guide early efforts to deploy residential demand response more widely.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111221
JournalEnergy Policy
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

    Research areas

  • Consumer engagement, Demand response, Demand-side management, Flexibility, Residential

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