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Knowing me, knowing you: the role of trust, locus of control and privacy concern in acceptance of domestic electricity demand-side response

Fell, MJ; Shipworth, D; Huebner, GM; Elwell, CA; (2015) Knowing me, knowing you: the role of trust, locus of control and privacy concern in acceptance of domestic electricity demand-side response. In: ECEEE 2015 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency: First Fuel Now. (pp. pp. 2153-2163). European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ECEEE) Green open access

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Abstract

Choosing to take part in a demand-side response (DSR) programme entails accepting external influence over one’s energy consumption patterns, such as through price or direct load control (DLC) signals. If participation is low, the programme will be ineffective. How might people’s perceptions of their relationship with the influencing entity affect the likelihood of participation? This study used a representative survey of Great Britain (N=2002) to explore the importance of trust, privacy concern and locus of control for acceptance of different approaches to influencing electricity consumption. Survey respondents were randomly shown a description of one of five DSR products (static time of use [TOU] tariff, static TOU with automated response to price changes, dynamic TOU, dynamic TOU with automated response, and DLC), framed as being offered by their electricity supplier. They then responded to a number of scales including those intended to measure trust in their supplier, privacy concern and locus of control. Controlling for demographic variables, trust in electricity supplier was significantly positively associated with acceptance of all tariffs, although the effect size was smaller for the automated TOU tariffs. The specific measure of trust in the supplier to ensure a reliable electricity supply was significantly negatively associated with acceptance of the dynamic TOU tariff. Privacy concern was significantly negatively associated with acceptance of all tariffs, with the strongest effect for the automated dynamic TOU tariff. Locus of control was a significant factor only in the case of DLC, where external locus was related to higher acceptance. These results suggest the existing low levels of trust in energy companies in the UK may present a challenge in securing uptake of DSR, and an opportunity to trusted entrants from other sectors. Automation within the home may mitigate trust concerns, but people must have confidence in the privacy of this arrangement. DLC may be viewed especially positively by people who currently perceive themselves to have little control over their energy use, but protections should be in place to ensure they are not exploited.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Knowing me, knowing you: the role of trust, locus of control and privacy concern in acceptance of domestic electricity demand-side response
Event: ECEEE 2015 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency
Location: Hyeres, France
Dates: 01 June 2015 - 06 June 2015
ISBN-13: 9789198048278
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.eceee.org/library/conference_proceedin...
Language: English
Additional information: This is the published version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: demand, control, technology acceptance, smart grid, demand side response, trust
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1476671
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