Making Energy Demand More Sustainable and Resilient
Infrastructure systems provide a network of service flows between production facilities (sources) and end-users (sinks), of which electricity is one of the most essential services. In this module, our approach to make energy systems more robust and resilient is by dampening consumption. Specifically, we will determine the most effective means to modulate purchase and consumption behaviour of end-users, including private households and companies.
This module seeks to:
- Investigate what factors shape energy-efficient purchase and usage behaviour
- Evaluate instruments on their effects on energy-efficient behaviour based on a set of outcome benefits and disservices, such as the tendency to offset the beneficial effects (rebound effects)
The Purchase/investment Decisions submodule will analyse the lifecycle cost of energy-efficient versus less energy-efficient electric appliances in Singapore and Switzerland, and look at how sensitive they are to electricity cost. Qualitative interviews on about 2,000 buyers of electric appliances will be conducted to identify the most important factors that shape behaviour to purchase energy-efficient appliances. The study will compare time preferences (discount rates) with purchase behaviour, and look for differences between the Swiss and the Singaporean subsets.
The Usage Behaviour submodule will investigate energy-efficient consumption behaviour of employees and private households to evaluate the impact of inertia, mental accounting, time preferences, risk preferences, and social links on modulating energy-efficient behaviour. It will measure the increase of employee energy-efficiency, evaluate the activation of social networks, and investigate the effectiveness of smart payment mechanisms. Additionally, we will examine the effects of mental budgeting and energy-saving contests, and seek to understand the effect of different feedback mechanisms and conditions that trigger positive spill over effects.
The Instrument Choice submodule aims to determine what measures are the most effective in promoting energy-efficient behaviour, including cost-benefit ratios, energy saving potential, potential reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and the corresponding rebound effects, i.e. behavioural responses that tend to offset the beneficial effects. A panel study on 2,000 voluntary participants, complemented with a longitudinal study, will reveal energy demand patterns of households and companies.