Empowering consumers to manage demand – Empower Demand 2


Brussels, Belgium — (METERING.COM) — November 8, 2012 – Successful consumer demand response programs depend on a plethora of criteria, a new study from the European Smart Metering Industry Group (ESMIG) on the best programs from Australia, the U.S. and Europe has found.

However, these criteria are spread among the projects and to date no single one has demonstrated all the best practice.

The study named Empower Demand 2 is a follow up to the earlier Empower Demand 1 from the same organization, and was aimed to investigate the qualitative issues concerning how best to empower consumers to reduce consumption. In Empower Demand 1, around 100 demand response programs across four continents were reviewed.

Among the criteria for successful programs are:

  • Pre-offering education
  • Step-by-step discovery, experimentation and enlightenment
  • Mixed feedback from different channels
  • Appealing feedback devices
  • Empathy and trust in the suppliers
  • Motivation and incentivization
  • Inter-play of automation, self-control and experimentation
  • Building interaction with and through technologies.

Emerging technology trends were also apparent, being typically more user friendly and inspiring and less numerical and graphical. Further, feedback and control technologies are relying increasingly on smart meters as they are rolled out in greater numbers.

Feedback and control, done well, will in the future lead to average energy consumption savings far above those typically experienced in pilots to date, but only through the creation of intelligent customer ecosystems that combine an appropriate combination of communication and technology, as well as the collaboration of different technologies and players in the energy market, states the study. It will also require the support of committed governments and regulators in order to enable the demand balancing requirements inherent within the market, to flow through to customers and other players in the market in the form of incentives.

The sooner that smart meters are rolled out, the sooner that market structures are designed to value savings equally along-side generation, the sooner that smart meter enabled energy efficiency and demand response potential can be fulfilled in Europe, the study concludes.

Like Empower Demand 1, Empower Demand 2 was prepared by the thinktank VaasaETT.