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Special Issue "The Role of Energy Behaviours to Design Energy Policies for a Sustainable Future"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "I: Energy Economics and Policy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (6 August 2021) | Viewed by 6447

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Marta Lopes
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Polytechnic of Coimbra, ESAC, 3045-601 Coimbra, Portugal
2. INESC Coimbra, DEEC, Rua Sílvio Lima, Polo II, 3030-290 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: human role in sustainable energy systems; energy efficiency and demand response; integrated approaches
Prof. Dr. Carlos Henggeler Antunes
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
INESC Coimbra, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Coimbra, Polo 2, 3030-290 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: energy efficiency; demand side management; demand response; optimization models and methods in energy systems; multi-objective optimization; multi-criteria decision analysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Energy behaviors are gaining increasing importance in the design of policies and programs to promote a transition to a low-carbon and more sustainable future. In this setting, the focus has moved from predominantly technological and financial issues (the so-called physical–technical–economic model) to pursuing more integrative approaches to social changes.

Energy behaviors should be understood as the role of people, organizations and technology in energy use across sectors, namely households, nondomestic buildings, industry, transportations, communities and cities.

The Special Issue “The role of Energy Behaviors to Design Energy Policies for a Sustainable Future” aims to gather multi- and interdisciplinary contributions on energy behaviors, including theoretical and methodological perspectives, critical assessments of case studies, policies and modelling approaches at different scales, which can be of relevance to researchers, practitioners and policy makers. The exploitation of the combination of the technical potential for energy savings/efficiency and the behavioral plasticity to design more effective policies leveraging citizen participation is particularly welcome.

We look forward to receiving your contributions on this challenging topic of utmost importance for a more sustainable future.

Prof. Dr. Marta Lopes
Prof. Dr. Carlos Henggeler Antunes
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Energy behaviours
  • Sustainable energy systems
  • Energy efficiency
  • Energy conservation
  • Energy management
  • Modelling approaches
  • Energy policies
  • Interdisciplinary research
  • Energy transition
  • Citizen participation
  • Demand side management
  • Demand response
  • Behaviour change
  • Energy communities
  • Energy poverty
  • Energy literacy
  • Energy feedback
  • Human dimensions
  • User-centred approaches

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
The Role of Energy Behaviors in Designing Energy Policies for a Sustainable Future
Energies 2022, 15(13), 4632; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15134632 - 24 Jun 2022
Viewed by 173
Abstract
Energy behaviors have increasing importance in the design of policies and programs that promote transitions to a low-carbon and more sustainable future [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Article
Impact of Time-Use Behaviour on Residential Energy Consumption in the United Kingdom
Energies 2021, 14(19), 6286; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14196286 - 02 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1041
Abstract
In order to have the best possible chance of achieving ‘decent work’ and ‘climate action’ as laid forth in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, government and policy makers must pay close attention to current time-use patterns, as well as the way these might [...] Read more.
In order to have the best possible chance of achieving ‘decent work’ and ‘climate action’ as laid forth in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, government and policy makers must pay close attention to current time-use patterns, as well as the way these might change in the near future. Here we contribute to the existing literature on time-use behaviour through a systematic exploration of the relationship between working patterns and energy consumption from the perspective of time-use. Our starting point is the premise that different work arrangements impact the timing of energy demand not only in workplaces, but also at home. Using the data from the 2014–2015 UK time-use survey, we were able to capture patterns of time-use behaviours and to assess their relationship with daily energy consumption. We propose a systematic time-use-based approach for estimating residential energy consumption with regards to activity timing, activity location, activity coordination, and appliance type. We use this method to discover patterns in residential activities and energy consumption, as well as the causal relationship between residential energy consumption and work patterns. In this study, we unpack the heterogeneity in the work–energy relationship, particularly when comparing full-time and part-time workers. Our results suggest that full-time employees have a higher potential to reduce their energy use compared to part-time employees. We also discover a non-linear change in total energy consumption for respondents with varying levels of work time. Energy consumption reductions associated with differences in work schedules are greatest during the first few hours of the workday, but then level off. Our findings suggests that time-use data can provide useful insights for evaluating and possibly designing energy and labour-market policies. Full article
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Article
Influence of Attitudes on Willingness to Choose Time-of-Use Electricity Tariffs in Germany. Evidence from Factor Analysis
Energies 2021, 14(17), 5406; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14175406 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 578
Abstract
Time-of-use (TOU) electricity tariffs are a demand side measure to ease balancing of demand and supply to cope with a rising share of renewables in a country’s electricity mix. In general, consumers require compensation for accepting these tariffs. This study analyzes how attitudes [...] Read more.
Time-of-use (TOU) electricity tariffs are a demand side measure to ease balancing of demand and supply to cope with a rising share of renewables in a country’s electricity mix. In general, consumers require compensation for accepting these tariffs. This study analyzes how attitudes drive consumers’ willingness to choose a TOU tariff in Germany. To identify attitudinal profiles, I use an exploratory factor analysis on items capturing positive and negative attitudes towards TOU tariffs, climate change awareness, and belief in energy saving measures. I use these factors as predictors in an ordered logit specification to estimate consumers’ stated willingness to choose a TOU tariff. Three factors are significant: positive and negative attitudes towards TOU tariffs, and climate change awareness. These findings highlight that decision makers who aim at balancing demand and supply through the use of TOU tariffs should focus on informing consumers about the positive impacts of these tariffs on climate change mitigation, grid stability, and possible energy savings. Full article
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Article
Shedding Light on the Factors That Influence Residential Demand Response in Japan
Energies 2021, 14(10), 2795; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14102795 - 13 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 835
Abstract
Residential demand response empowers the role of electricity consumers by allowing them to change their patterns of consumption, which can help balance the energy grid. Although such type of management is envisaged to play an increasingly important role in the integration of renewables [...] Read more.
Residential demand response empowers the role of electricity consumers by allowing them to change their patterns of consumption, which can help balance the energy grid. Although such type of management is envisaged to play an increasingly important role in the integration of renewables into the grid, the factors that influence household engagement in these initiatives have not been fully explored in Japan. This study examines the influence of interpersonal, intrapersonal, and socio-demographic characteristics of households in Yokohama on their willingness to participate in demand response programs. Time of use, real time pricing, critical peak pricing, and direct load control were considered as potential candidates for adoption. In addition, the authors explored the willingness of households to receive non-electricity related information in their in-home displays and participate in a philanthropy-based peer-to-peer energy platform. Primary data were collected though a questionnaire survey and supplemented by key informant interviews. The findings indicate that household income, ownership of electric vehicles, socio-environmental awareness, perceived sense of comfort, control, and complexity, as well as philanthropic inclinations, all constitute drivers that influence demand flexibility. Finally, policy recommendations that could potentially help introduce residential demand response programs to a wider section of the public are also proposed. Full article
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Article
Identifying Challenges in Engaging Users to Increase Self-Consumption of Electricity in Microgrids
Energies 2021, 14(5), 1257; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14051257 - 25 Feb 2021
Viewed by 789
Abstract
A microgrid’s self-consumption rate reflects its ability to retain its own energy and decrease its reliance on the synchronous grid. This paper investigates the empirical case of a microgrid equipped with photovoltaic (PV) panels and identifies challenges in engaging the microgrid’s users to [...] Read more.
A microgrid’s self-consumption rate reflects its ability to retain its own energy and decrease its reliance on the synchronous grid. This paper investigates the empirical case of a microgrid equipped with photovoltaic (PV) panels and identifies challenges in engaging the microgrid’s users to increase their self-consumption. Accordingly, we explored both the physical and social dimensions of the microgrid. The former involved mapping the electricity consumption and production through an exploratory data analysis, and evaluating the associated price signals, while the latter involved the use of design interventions to explore users’ perceptions of the system. We highlight the problem of price signal impedance, the need for cost reflective pricing and the challenge in designing and extending internal price models in settings with various actors. We address the limitations of price signals, alongside alternative unidimensional signals, and emphasize the need for an integrated approach to a user engagement strategy as well as the challenges that this approach entails. Our results shed light on the complexity of energy communities such as microgrids, and why their implementation can introduce multidimensional challenges that demand cross-disciplinary approaches. Full article
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Article
Contradictory Conservation: The Role of Leadership in Shaping Energy Efficiency Culture in Urban Residential Cooperative Buildings
Energies 2021, 14(3), 648; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14030648 - 27 Jan 2021
Viewed by 631
Abstract
In addition to formalized leadership roles within organizations, leadership can also influence members through informal channels. This work argues that multifamily residential buildings can be viewed as organizations and, as such, explores the influence that informal leaders can wield in shaping culture around [...] Read more.
In addition to formalized leadership roles within organizations, leadership can also influence members through informal channels. This work argues that multifamily residential buildings can be viewed as organizations and, as such, explores the influence that informal leaders can wield in shaping culture around the motivation for conserving energy. This work draws on qualitative fieldwork conducted in a Brooklyn cooperative building. Findings indicate that the study building benefitted from the leadership of a long-standing board member, which contributed to the implementation of a number of energy efficiency initiatives. Interestingly, this leadership also led to a culture of cost efficiency over environmental concern as the motivating force behind these initiatives. This narrative was well disseminated, with most residents reporting that the building does not have a culture of conservation, despite a strong energy efficiency leaning. Thus, this work posits that leadership can greatly shape perception and culture around energy but can also be leveraged to craft a more environmentally-motivated conservation culture. It also argues that leadership can be complementary to decentralized organizational structures, and that creative mechanisms in residential buildings can capitalize on both, allowing members at all levels of the organization more influence in shaping the building’s culture. Full article
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Article
Heterogeneity of Electricity Consumption Patterns in Vulnerable Households
Energies 2020, 13(18), 4713; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13184713 - 10 Sep 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1086
Abstract
A key aspect of the design of specific tariff structures is to identify and characterize homogeneous electricity consumption profiles. Recent research in residential electricity demand has explored load profile segmentation via cluster analysis combined with descriptive data from the dwelling and occupants, which [...] Read more.
A key aspect of the design of specific tariff structures is to identify and characterize homogeneous electricity consumption profiles. Recent research in residential electricity demand has explored load profile segmentation via cluster analysis combined with descriptive data from the dwelling and occupants, which has partly explained electricity load patterns and their underlying drivers but has failed to investigate any consumption heterogeneity among similar households. Thus, the aim of this paper is to reverse this approach and investigate the extent that households with similar characteristics have different electricity consumption patterns. This study combines population-based register data with hourly electricity consumption data for a sample of 67 Danish households. First, a homogenous household group is selected based on several indicators that signal vulnerability. The specific group under investigation is single-person, older, low-income households in detached housing. Second, K-means clustering is used to identify similarities and differences in consumption patterns. The results indicate four distinct vulnerable household profiles characterized by different start and end times of peak and off-peak times, peak intensities, and overall consumption, which vary across seasons. These profiles are discussed concerning the performance of everyday practices and the design of demand-side management strategies targeted at vulnerable households. Full article
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