Department of Business Development and Technology

Coronavirus comes home? Energy use, home energy management, and the social-psychological factors of COVID-19

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  • Chien fei Chen, University of Tennessee
  • ,
  • Gerardo Zarazua de Rubens
  • Xiaojing Xu, University of Tennessee
  • ,
  • Jiayi Li, University of Tennessee

This study explores the dynamics of energy use patterns, climate change issues and the relationship between social-psychological factors, with residents’ acceptance of and willingness to pay (WTP) for home energy management systems (HEMS) during the COVID-19 pandemic in New York. The results of our survey suggest that there were no longer morning or evening usage peaks on weekdays, and a significant portion of respondents are experiencing higher or much higher electricity use than average. Most residents' perception of climate change issues during COVID-19 remained unchanged. Attitude, perceived behavioral control, and social norms are overall the strongest predictors of adoption intention and WTP for HEMS. Regarding WTP for specific well-being features, attitude was the strongest positive predictor of telemedical and home security features, and social norms are the strongest positive predictor of elderly assistance and job search. Technology anxiety, surprisingly, positively influences WTP for the well-being features. Trust in utilities is not related to adoption intention, but is positively associated with WTP for the well-being features. Although cybersecurity concerns are positively associated with HEMS adoption intention for energy and well-being features, this relationship is not significant in WTP. Residents who had moderate perceived risk of getting COVID-19 are willing to pay more than the high- and low-risk groups. This paper addresses the interactions among technology attributes -, and users’ social-psychological and demographics factors. Additionally, this study provides insights for further research in examining technology adoption and energy dynamics during times of crises, such as the COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101688
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

    Research areas

  • Climate changed, COVID-19, Energy demand, Home Energy Management System (HEMS), Social norms, Willingness to pay

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