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Public perceptions of demand-side management and a smarter energy future

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JournalNature Climate Change
DateE-pub ahead of print - 27 Apr 2015
DatePublished (current) - 2015
Number of pages5
Pages (from-to)550-554
Early online date27/04/15
Original languageEnglish


Demand-side management (DSM) is a key aspect of many future energy system scenarios1,2. DSM refers to a range of technologies and interventions designed to create greater efficiency and flexibility on the demand-side of the energy system3. Examples include the provision of more information to users to support efficient behaviour and new ‘smart’ technologies that can be automatically controlled. Key stated outcomes of implementing DSM are benefits for consumers, such as cost savings3,4 and greater control over energy use. Here, we use results from an online survey to examine public perceptions and acceptability of a range of current DSM possibilities in a representative sample of the British population (N = 2,441). We show that, although cost is likely to be a significant reason for many people to take up DSM measures, those concerned about energy costs are actually less likely to accept DSM. Notably, individuals concerned about climate change are more likely to be accepting. A significant proportion of people, particularly those concerned about affordability, indicated unwillingness or concerns about sharing energy data, a necessity for many forms of DSM. We conclude substantial public engagement and further policy development is required for widespread DSM implementation.

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© 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. This is an author produced version of a paper published in Nature Climate Change. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.

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