Experiences and behaviors of end-users in a smart grid: the influence of values, attitudes, trust, and several types of demand side management

Carina Wiekens, Maike Grootel, Sophie Steinmeijer

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In this research, the experiences and behaviors of end-users in a smart grid project are explored. In PowerMatching City, the leading Dutch smart grid project, 40 households were equipped with various decentralized energy sources (PV and microCHP), hybrid heat pumps, smart appliances, smart meters and an in-home display. Stabilization and optimization of the network was realized by trading energy on the market. To reduce peak loads on the smart grid, several types of demand side management were tested. Households received feedback on their energy use either based on costs, or on the percentage of consumed energy that had been produced locally. Furthermore, devices could be controlled automatically, smartly or manually to optimize the energy use of the households. Results from quantitative and qualitative research showed that: (1) feedback on costs reduction is valued most; (2) end-users preferred to consume self-produced energy (this may even be the case when, from a cost or sustainability perspective, it is not the most efficient strategy to follow); (3) automatic and smart control are most popular, but manually controlling appliances is more rewarding; (4) experiences and behaviors of end-users depended on trust between community members, and on trust in both technology (ICT infrastructure and connected appliances) and the participating parties.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherHanzehogeschool Groningen
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2014



  • smart grid
  • consumer behaviour
  • energy
  • sustainability

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