Consumer perceptions of smart grid development: Results of a Hong Kong survey and policy implications

Daphne Ngar-yin MAH*, Johannes Marinus van der Vleuten, Peter Hills, Julia Tao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Consumers have a major role to play in smart grid technologies which can be instrumental in addressing climate change and energy challenges. However, little is known about how consumers perceive, and how they might respond to the opportunities that smart grid technologies offer. This paper reports the results from a Hong Kong survey (n=505). It contributes to the literature by providing a better understanding of the perceptions and behaviour of electricity consumers about the possible deployment of smart grids. Our results indicate that Hong Kong consumers generally welcomed smart grid technologies and had a preference for energy saving, energy efficiency and renewable energy while they showed a high level of opposition to nuclear power. They displayed an interest in playing a much more informed and active role in energy decision-making, but they were sensitive to tariff increases. Motivations and barriers for consumers to support smart grid developments are also discussed. We conclude with a discussion of policy implications for effective consumer engagement. More policy attention is needed on demand-side measures, introducing institutional and regulatory changes, and modifying relationships between consumers, the government and utilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-216
Number of pages13
JournalEnergy Policy
Volume49
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Energy(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

User-Defined Keywords

  • Consumer perception
  • Smart grids
  • Sustainability

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