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Are Smart Meters Really Smart?

Tedenvall, Mats LU (2015) In IIIEE Master thesis IMEN41 20151
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
Abstract
Increased energy efficiency is a fundamental pillar to foster sustainable energy systems and a resource efficient economy. To that end, policies and measures to promote energy conservation and energy efficiency technologies are greatly needed in order to reduce or correct market and behavioural failures that prevent efficiency improvements, and resulting economic and environmental gains. To address information-related barriers, the roll out of Smart Meters (SMs) in the residential sector has gained considerable policy attention in the European Union. SMs enable real-time feedback to residents about their electricity use. A key tenet of SMs is that the provision of information encourages residential end-users to change their behaviour and... (More)
Increased energy efficiency is a fundamental pillar to foster sustainable energy systems and a resource efficient economy. To that end, policies and measures to promote energy conservation and energy efficiency technologies are greatly needed in order to reduce or correct market and behavioural failures that prevent efficiency improvements, and resulting economic and environmental gains. To address information-related barriers, the roll out of Smart Meters (SMs) in the residential sector has gained considerable policy attention in the European Union. SMs enable real-time feedback to residents about their electricity use. A key tenet of SMs is that the provision of information encourages residential end-users to change their behaviour and make more rational choices about their electricity use and demand for energy services. This thesis empirically investigates the effectiveness of real-time feedback technology on Swedish households. The thesis provides a better understanding of how psychological, moral and contextual variables affect electricity use and related behaviour. Electricity use data from more than 4 700 users over four years together with a survey and econometrics were used for the research. Results show that feedback without any complementary interventions only provides a marginal effect (1.4-1.5%) in electricity reduction, and that contextual variables seem to be better predictors of electricity use rather than psychological variables. Results indicate that perceived behavioural control and personal norms appeared to be significant determinants of the perceived effectiveness of the feedback service. It is concluded that the implementation of SMs per se is likely to be insufficient to foster increased efficient use of electricity if this is not combined with other policy instruments, such as electricity pricing, awareness raising and tailored education campaigns. (Less)
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author
Tedenvall, Mats LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Understanding the effects of real-time feedback of electricity use in Sweden
course
IMEN41 20151
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Behavioural change, effectiveness, electricity saving, household sector, Smart Meters
publication/series
IIIEE Master thesis
report number
2015:28
ISSN
1401-9191
language
English
id
8046918
date added to LUP
2015-10-02 13:48:31
date last changed
2015-10-02 13:48:31
@misc{8046918,
  abstract     = {Increased energy efficiency is a fundamental pillar to foster sustainable energy systems and a resource efficient economy. To that end, policies and measures to promote energy conservation and energy efficiency technologies are greatly needed in order to reduce or correct market and behavioural failures that prevent efficiency improvements, and resulting economic and environmental gains. To address information-related barriers, the roll out of Smart Meters (SMs) in the residential sector has gained considerable policy attention in the European Union. SMs enable real-time feedback to residents about their electricity use. A key tenet of SMs is that the provision of information encourages residential end-users to change their behaviour and make more rational choices about their electricity use and demand for energy services. This thesis empirically investigates the effectiveness of real-time feedback technology on Swedish households. The thesis provides a better understanding of how psychological, moral and contextual variables affect electricity use and related behaviour. Electricity use data from more than 4 700 users over four years together with a survey and econometrics were used for the research. Results show that feedback without any complementary interventions only provides a marginal effect (1.4-1.5%) in electricity reduction, and that contextual variables seem to be better predictors of electricity use rather than psychological variables. Results indicate that perceived behavioural control and personal norms appeared to be significant determinants of the perceived effectiveness of the feedback service. It is concluded that the implementation of SMs per se is likely to be insufficient to foster increased efficient use of electricity if this is not combined with other policy instruments, such as electricity pricing, awareness raising and tailored education campaigns.},
  author       = {Tedenvall, Mats},
  issn         = {1401-9191},
  keyword      = {Behavioural change,effectiveness,electricity saving,household sector,Smart Meters},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {IIIEE Master thesis},
  title        = {Are Smart Meters Really Smart?},
  year         = {2015},
}