Flexiwatts and seamless technology: Public perceptions of demand flexibility through smart home technology

Yael Parag, Galit Butbul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

The European Commission envisages smart home technology (SHT) as reducing energy costs and simplifying consumer engagement in a low-carbon-energy retail market without inconveniencing them. With consumers’ consent, SHT allows continuous seamless interaction between the home and the smart grid, offering the grid ongoing demand flexibility resources for reshaping the demand curve. This study assesses perceptions of a nontechnophobic segment of the Israeli public (N = 554) regarding demand flexibility and energy management through SHT. Sociodemographic variables, personality traits, and attitudes toward smart homes and demand flexibility through SHT were examined as predictors of consumers’ interest in adopting a smart home and in demand flexibility through SHT. In a hierarchical linear regression model, gender, income, openness to experience, and positive and negative attitudes toward SHT explained 64.4% of the variance in interest in smart homes. Age, openness to experience, a positive attitude toward smart homes, and perceived benefits of demand flexibility explained 31.4% of the variance in interest in demand flexibility through SHT. Regarding respondents’ willingness to allow SHT to manage appliances, dishwashers scored the highest and refrigerators, the lowest. Findings indicate that prospective adopters value the perceived benefits of comfort and convenience over risks associated with smart home technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-191
Number of pages15
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
Volume39
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Funding

The EU FP7 Marie Curie CIG grant no. 303443 , “STESS: Socio-technical approach to energy services security,” supported the research for this paper, and Israel Science Foundation grant no. 489/15 , “MOST—Middle Out approach for Sustainable Transition to a low carbon society,” supported the writing of the paper.

FundersFunder number
FP7 Marie Curie303443
Israel Science Foundation489/15

    Keywords

    • Demand flexibility
    • Demand response
    • Flexiwatts
    • Smart home

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