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Title: Taking charge : perceived control and acceptability of domestic demand-side response
Author: Fell, M. J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8503 4786
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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If widely adopted, domestic demand-side response (DSR) could help make Great Britain's electricity system more secure, clean and affordable. However, research suggests some people have concerns about participating in DSR programmes, and prominent amongst these is a perceived loss of personal control. This programme of research used a combination of interview and survey methods to explore what such concern might encompass and how it relates to the acceptability of DSR. Initial focus group findings were drawn on to extend the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) with perceived control constructs and develop an associated measurement scale. A survey experiment including the new scale was deployed to a representative sample of GB bill-payers (N=2002) to test for the first time the relative acceptability of static/dynamic time of use (TOU) tariffs, with/without automated response, and direct load control (DLC). DLC was shown to be acceptable in principle to many people, with a tariff permitting limited DLC of heating being significantly more popular than the TOU tariffs. The option of automated response made dynamic TOU (otherwise the least popular tariff) as acceptable as static TOU. This is important because dynamic TOU offers additional network benefits, while automation can improve duration and reliability of response. The tariffs were generally rated highly for giving people control over spending on electricity, but perceived control over general service quality, ease of use and savings potential were more important in overall acceptance and should be prioritized in product development/communication. Further research in a field trial including automated response by heat pumps to TOU tariffs highlighted various challenges if automated DSR is to be acceptable in reality. These include overheating potential when pre-heating at lower prices, the importance of ease of use, and effective override ability. The implications of these and other findings for policy, industry and research are discussed.
Supervisor: Shipworth, D. ; Huebner, G. M. ; Elwell, C. A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available