Perceptions of Demand-side Management & “Smart” Technology

demand-side management


Futurity, May 4, 2015. Image credit: geralt

People’s reluctance to share data about their energy use is likely to stand in the way of “smart” technology designed to promote energy efficiency, experts say.

A study, published online in Nature Climate Change, finds that while more than half of people quizzed would be willing to reduce their personal energy consumption, some were wary about sharing their information with third parties.

Increasing energy efficiency and encouraging flexible energy use are integral parts of plans to reduce the UK’s greenhouse-gas emissions.

Devices like smart meters, for example, transmit information about energy usage from the demand- or customer-side to energy companies.

This information can then be used to develop and implement more energy efficient practices. However, it is unclear how UK consumers feel about the benefits of these types of technology, called “demand-side management” or DSM.

The research team, led by Alexa Spence in the University of Nottingham’s Horizon Digital Economy Research institute and School of Psychology, analyzed responses to an online survey of 2,441 UK residents and found that most participants (58 percent) said they were willing to reduce their personal energy use.

However, approximately one-fifth of survey respondents said they would be uncomfortable sharing data about their personal energy use with any outside party.

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