Journal Article

Why do preferences for electricity services differ? Domestic appliance curtailment contracts in Ireland

August 13, 2020

Energy Research & Social Science, Volume 69, November 2020, 101705

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Empirical evidence across several electricity markets reveals heterogeneous customer preferences for direct load control and other electricity service offerings but relatively little is understood concerning the drivers of this preference heterogeneity. Using a discrete choice experiment examining the potential role of domestic appliance curtailment contracts as a means of shifting load, this paper investigates potential drivers of preference heterogeneity with respect to electricity services. The research finds that electricity customers’ personal characteristics, including their environmental attitudes and behaviours, are associated with preferences for curtailment contract attributes though the scale of the relationship is more nuanced and muted than might have been anticipated. Age, family size, and environmental attitudes are the respondent characteristics with the strongest association with preferences, though the nature of the association varies substantially across attributes.