Abstract for: Simulating the diffusion of smart energy behaviour among consumers: an application to Italy

We build a system dynamics model to evaluate the potential dynamics of consumer adoption of “Smart Energy Behaviour”. Within this term we include different levels of: i) shift in electricity consumption towards less costly, less polluting and congestioning hours; ii) reduction of mainly wasteful electricity consumption, that maintains similar levels of comfort; iii) enrolment in demand response programs; iv) electricity generation via residential micro-photovoltaic systems. These behavioural changes are triggered by the installation of advanced-metering systems and a tariff policy that prices electricity according to time-of-use. The case-study focuses on Italy, where the largest diffusion of smart meters has taken place. We perform a set of 2500 simulations with stochastic parameters to take into account uncertainty in their estimation, to find that consumer involvement may induce relevant effects: an aggregated shift in residential electricity consumption of 13.0% by 2020 and of 29.6% by 2030; and an aggregated reduction in residential electricity consumption of 2.5% by 2020 and 9.2% by 2030. These changes may have strong impacts on the system operating costs (about 380 M€/y by 2020, 1203 M€/y by 2030), on the CO2 emissions (about 1.56 MtonCO2/y by 2020, 5.01 MtonCO2/y by 2030), confirming the value of consumer participation.