Demand Response (DR) programs under the umbrella of Demand Side Management (DSM) tend to involve end users in optimizing their Power Consumption (PC) patterns and offer ﬁnancial incentives to shift the load at “low-priced” hours. However, users have their own preferences of anticipating the amount of consumed electricity. While installing an Energy Management System (EMS), the user must be assured that this investment gives optimum comfort of bill savings, as well as appliance utility considering Time of Use (ToU). Moreover, there is a difference between desired load distribution and optimally-scheduled load across a 24-h time frame for lowering electricity bills. This difference in load usage timings, if it is beyond the tolerance level of a user, increases frustration. The comfort level is a highly variable phenomenon. An EMS giving optimum comfort to one user may not be able to provide the same level of satisfaction to another who has different preferences regarding electricity bill savings or appliance utility. Under such a diversity of human behaviors, it is difﬁcult to select an EMS for an individual user. In this work, a numeric performance metric,“User Comfort Level (UCL)”isformulatedonthebasisofuserpreferencesoncostsaving,toleranceindelayregardinguse of an appliance and return of investment. The proposed framework (UCL) allows the user to select an EMS optimally that suits his.her preferences well by anticipating electricity bill reduction, tolerable delay in ToU of the appliance and return on investment. Furthermore, an extended literature analysis is conducted demonstrating generic strategies of EMSs. Five major building blocks are discussed and a comparative analysis is presented on the basis of the proposed performance metric.
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