Reducing winter peaks in electricity consumption: A choice experiment to structure demand response programs

Aman Srivastava*, Steven Van Passel, Roselinde Kessels, Pieter Valkering, Erik Laes

*Corresponding author for this work

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Winter peaks in Belgian electricity demand are significantly higher than the summer peaks, creating a greater potential for imbalances between demand and supply. This potential is exacerbated because of the risk of outages in its ageing nuclear power plants, which are being phased out in the medium term. This paper conducts a choice experiment to investigate the acceptability of a load control-based demand response program in the winter months. It surveys 186 respondents on their willingness to accept limits on the use of home appliances in return for a compensation. Results indicate that respondents are most affected by the days of the week that their appliance usage would be curtailed, and by the compensation they would receive. The willingness to enroll in a program increases with age, environmental consciousness, home ownership, and lower privacy concerns. The analysis predicts that 95% of the sample surveyed could enroll in a daily load control program for a compensation of €41 per household per year. Thus while an initial rollout among older and more pro-environment homeowners could be successful, a wider implementation would require an explanation of its environmental and financial benefits to the population, and a greater consideration of their data privacy concerns.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111183
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy Policy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • Demand response
  • Discrete choice experiment
  • Load control
  • Residential electricity
  • Smart appliance
  • Stated preferences


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