The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is working with a subset of the Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) award recipients to examine the response of consumers to variable electricity prices, referred to as time-based rate programs, in conjunction with the deployment of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and customer systems such as Web portals and in-home displays. The effort presents an opportunity to advance the electricity industry’s understanding of the response by consumers in terms of peak load reductions, changes in electricity use, and consumer acceptance and retention and involves carefully designed studies that apply rigorous statistical methods.

The Funding Opportunity Announcement for the SGIG program explicitly identified an interest in AMI projects that involved time-based rates and use of randomized and controlled experimental designs. DOE is working closely with the subset of projects involved in these studies to better understand the diversity of response to time-based rate programs, as well as control and automation technologies across different market segments, such as low income consumers, elderly consumers, and consumers with high energy use. The extent of consumer acceptance and retention with these technologies and programs is also part of the studies and DOE’s analysis agenda. All of the data being collected in the studies and reported by the recipients such as interval load data and consumer demographics data) will be used by DOE to perform cross-study analysis of all of the SGIG consumer behavior studies.

Learn more about SGIG Consumer Behavior Studies: