The research field „User Behaviour and Demand Management“

Private households and industry combined account for more than 50 per cent of the energy consumption in Germany. Therefore the focus of research field “user behavior and demand management” lies on behaviors and decisions relevant for energy consumption in these domains. In the energy system of the future both energy efficiency and the proportion of renewable energies have to be increased. Energy infrastructure will change fundamentally. Smart grids will enable fine tuning of demand and supply; smart meters will make patterns of energy consumption comprehensible for end users and will be the interface of communication between grids, energy companies and users. Potentially, electric vehicles will serve the function of interim energy stores.

In the future, both private households and industry will have to play an important role in the change of the energy system. However, up until now, there is insufficient knowledge concerning the motivation and capability of households and industry to accept and support change. Are households able and motivated to use energy more efficiently and to modify everyday energy-relevant behavioral routines in such a way as to adapt their demand flexibly to the energy supply offered by sources of renewable energy? How can households be encouraged to engage in the process of change of the energy system? Which obstacles stand in the way of these changes? Which target groups can easily be encouraged? In relation to industry and commerce the potentials will be investigated that exist in various sectors to increase energy efficiency and use energy time-flexibly, but also what hinders the realization of these potentials now and in the future?Photo: ZEW

The research field will investigate determinants, obstacles and powerful interventions in three projects:

Project: Determinants of Household Decisions and Behaviour

Project: Determinants of Industrial Decisions and Behaviour

Project: Effectiveness and Efficiency of Interventions