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Consumer behaviour in Active Demand pilots

There are many challenges in the search for Smart Energy solutions. Among them is the behaviour of end-consumers in an Active Demand setting. TNO joined with Distribution System Operators (DSOs) and knowledge institutes to create ADVANCED: Active Demand Value And Consumers Experience Discovery. ADVANCED explores consumer behaviour in Active Demand pilots and gives insight into solutions that work in the real world.

The transition to Smart Grid technology requires more than just the best technological solutions. It requires social innovation. The behaviour of end-users must be taken into account. With Active Demand (AD), consumers become more aware of, and in control of, their consumption behaviour. They have choices to make about their (time of) usage. With that, AD pilots need to investigate the impact of the Smart Grid far beyond the socket, and right into the living room. Matching energy supply and demand requires the engagement of consumers on a personal level. The 24-month ADVANCED project has explored all of the factors that influence behaviour, resulting in frameworks for successful execution based on actual data on a household (instead of an aggregated) level, delivering unique and valuable insight into consumer behaviour. Furthermore, ADVANCED created tangible Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will help the Energy sector find the most viable solutions.

The human factor

Companies aiming to establish an AD pilot often underestimate the effect of consumer behaviour. Will they respond to price-plan incentives? Will they embrace in-home displays and reduce usage? Will they adjust their behaviour to take advantage of Smart Energy? TNO's extensive knowledge in behavioural sciences, quantitative analysis, privacy, social innovation and social marketing helped ADVANCED to find answers. Human behaviour is influenced by many personal, social, cultural and practical factors. And variables that have a strong impact on one pilot or one specific target group may be of no consequence to another. ADVANCED thus provides insight into household consumer behaviour from pilots in four European countries, enriched by data from AD pilots throughout the world. Alongside the consumer point of view, ADVANCED with the help of TNO has also analysed the adoption of AD in the business market, resulting in several useful approaches for commercial and industrial parties.

Practical solutions

  • By sharing knowledge and lessons learned, ADVANCED is helping the Energy sector develop more viable solutions, faster than ever before.
  • Are you a responsible for AD pilots, or other pilots on sustainable energy in both the consumer or business market?
  • Are you responsbile for topics such as customer loyalty, marketing and/or innovation in the energy domain?
  • Are you interested in large-scale consumer or business market research in the energy domain?
  • Or are you interested in these topics from another point of view or another domain?

Then please feel free to take note of the results or get in touch.

All results can be found on the ADVANCED website. Some deliverables for easy reference and application in daily practice, such as the communication strategy for reaching out to consumers about AD, are attached here.

ADVANCED website

All deliverables can be found on the website


Human Behaviour and Organisational Innovation

We develop and apply knowledge in the field of social innovation. On the one hand, the focus lies on interventions for behavioural change to accelerate the acceptance of 'new' behaviour by customers and... Read more


Drs. Caroline van der Weerdt

  • social marketing
  • design thinking
  • orchestrating innovation
  • agrifood
  • energy


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