Speaker: A/Prof Anke Leroux
Affiliation: Monash University
Location: Room S402 Social Sciences Building (#24)


Electricity markets, characterized by high growth in solar PV generation increasingly struggle to cope with excess supply in the middle of sunny days, excess demand in the evenings and greater volatility and unpredictability of system conditions in general. Mobilizing households to be flexible in their energy consumption and undertake within‐day shifting of their electricity consumption is a crucial component for maximizing the environmental benefits and economic value of renewable energy investment in the energy sector. We partner with a technology provider that provides feedback on household electricity use in real‐time via a mobile app. We conduct a randomized control trial with over 6000 households to test monetary and nonmonetary incentives to encourage households to align better their within‐day electricity use with solar energy output. Specifically, we provide households with incentives that are designed across three dimensions: incentives to move consumption into daylight hours (solar sponge incentives) versus incentives to move away from non‐daylight hours (peak shave incentives); financial subsidies and rebates per kWh shifted versus a non‐monetary incentive scheme where households earn status points per kWh shifted; incentives that target routine (every day) actions versus those that target ad hoc (less frequent) actions. We find significant consumption responses by households on ad hoc event days that are of similar size to the responses by households that are offered incentives every day over the course of the trials. This demonstrates that households that are able to track their consumption in real‐time can be very flexible in adjusting their consumption at relatively short notice, thus providing support for the implementation of demand response programs that closely track system conditions. We show that households differ in their sensitivity to program design, whereby households without rooftop solar installations respond mainly to solar sponge tariffs resulting in these households shifting their load from the evening peak to the middle of the day. In contrast, households with rooftop solar respond to peak shave incentives even if they are of a non‐monetary nature. Exploiting data on household app engagement and self‐reported measures of program engagement shows that solar households are more engaged ex‐ante and throughout the program as well as having a greater capacity to load shift.

About the presenter's visit 

If you would like to meet with A/Prof Leroux contact: Dr Andrea La Nauze

About School Seminar Series

The School of Economics General Seminar Series is held on Fridays. These are in-person and presented by a range of guest researchers from around Australia and internationally.

« Discover more School of Economics Seminar Series


Social Sciences Building (#24), UQ St Lucia campus