Leveraging the smart grid to optimise energy consumption
Can providing information help consumers to reduce their environmental footprint? The roll-out of smart electricity meters, which enable real-time feedback on electricity consumption to residential consumers, can help answer this question.
This article is part of the Forum Network series on Digitalisation
Households typically cannot observe the price or the amount of electricity that they consume in real-time, so that they do not have the basis to make well-informed decisions about their electricity consumption.
The recently published OECD Environment Working Paper: “Leveraging the Smart Grid: The Effect of Real-Time Information on Consumer Decisions” reviews the literature on the impact of real-time information provision on consumer decision-making. In addition, it describes the results of a study in which about 7,000 households in Ontario, Canada were provided with in-home displays linked to smart meters that provided real-time feedback on electricity consumption. The results show that electricity consumption declines by about 3% as a result of information feedback, that the reduction in demand is sustained for at least five months, and that it is highly correlated with outdoor temperature.
Join OECD Environment's visiting Senior Economist Nic Rivers (Professor, University of Ottawa) on 15 March at 16:00 CET (Paris time) / 11:00 EST to discuss these recent findings on the role of real-time electricity feedback in reducing consumption during an OECD Green Talks: LIVE webinar.
Webinar duration: 1 hour (Presentation of 20-30 minutes followed by Q&A).