For better utilizing renewable energy resources and improving the sustainability of power systems, demand response is widely applied in China, especially in recent decades. Considering the massive potential flexible resources in the residential sector, demand response programs are able to achieve significant benefits. This paper proposes an effective performance evaluation framework for such programs aimed at residential customers. In general, the evaluation process will face multiple criteria and some uncertain factors. Therefore, we combine the multi-criteria decision making concept and fuzzy set theory to accomplish the model establishment. By introducing trapezoidal fuzzy numbers into the Vlsekriterijumska Optimizacijia I Kompromisno Resenje (VIKOR) method, the evaluation model can effectively deal with the subjection and fuzziness of experts’ opinions. Furthermore, we ameliorate the criteria weight determination procedure of traditional models via combining the fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process and Shannon entropy method, which can incorporate objective information and subjective judgments. Finally, the proposed evaluation framework is verified by the empirical analysis of five demand response projects in Chinese residential areas. The results give a valid performance ranking of the five alternatives and indicate that more attention should be paid to the criteria affiliated with technology level and economy benefits. In addition, a series of sensitivity analyses are conducted to examine the validity and effectiveness of the established evaluation framework and results. The study improves traditional multi-criteria decision making method VIKOR by introducing trapezoidal fuzzy numbers and combination weighing technique, which can provide an effective mean for performance evaluation of residential demand response programs in a fuzzy environment.
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