IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Responsible technology acceptance: Model development and application to consumer acceptance of Smart Grid technology


  • Broman Toft, Madeleine
  • Schuitema, Geertje
  • Thøgersen, John


As a response to climate change and the desire to gain independence from imported fossil fuels, there is a pressure to increase the proportion of electricity from renewable sources which is one of the reasons why electricity grids are currently being turned into Smart Grids. In this paper, we focus on private consumers’ acceptance of having Smart Grid technology installed in their home. We analyse acceptance in a combined framework of the Technology Acceptance Model and the Norm Activation Model. We propose that individuals are only likely to accept Smart Grid technology if they assess usefulness in terms of a positive impact for society and the environment. Therefore, we expect that Smart Grid technology acceptance can be better explained when the well-known technology acceptance parameters included in the Technology Acceptance Model are supplemented by moral norms as suggested by the Norm Activation Model. We tested this proposition by means of an online survey of Danish (N=323), Norwegian (N=303) and Swiss (N=324) private consumers. The study confirms that adding personal norms to the independent variables of the Technology Acceptance Model leads to a significant increase in the explained variance in consumer acceptance of Smart Grid technology in all three countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Broman Toft, Madeleine & Schuitema, Geertje & Thøgersen, John, 2014. "Responsible technology acceptance: Model development and application to consumer acceptance of Smart Grid technology," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 392-400.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:134:y:2014:i:c:p:392-400
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2014.08.048

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Read, Wayne & Robertson, Nichola & McQuilken, Lisa, 2011. "A novel romance: The Technology Acceptance Model with emotional attachment," Australasian marketing journal, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 223-229.
    2. Geelen, Daphne & Reinders, Angèle & Keyson, David, 2013. "Empowering the end-user in smart grids: Recommendations for the design of products and services," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 151-161.
    3. Biel, Anders & Thogersen, John, 2007. "Activation of social norms in social dilemmas: A review of the evidence and reflections on the implications for environmental behaviour," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 93-112, January.
    4. Krishnamurti, Tamar & Schwartz, Daniel & Davis, Alexander & Fischhoff, Baruch & de Bruin, Wändi Bruine & Lave, Lester & Wang, Jack, 2012. "Preparing for smart grid technologies: A behavioral decision research approach to understanding consumer expectations about smart meters," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 790-797.
    5. Gangale, Flavia & Mengolini, Anna & Onyeji, Ijeoma, 2013. "Consumer engagement: An insight from smart grid projects in Europe," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 621-628.
    6. Broeer, Torsten & Fuller, Jason & Tuffner, Francis & Chassin, David & Djilali, Ned, 2014. "Modeling framework and validation of a smart grid and demand response system for wind power integration," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 199-207.
    7. Wissner, Matthias, 2011. "The Smart Grid - A saucerful of secrets?," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(7), pages 2509-2518, July.
    8. Lund, Henrik, 2007. "Renewable energy strategies for sustainable development," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 912-919.
    9. Krupka, Erin & Weber, Roberto A., 2009. "The focusing and informational effects of norms on pro-social behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 307-320, June.
    10. McCalley, L. T. & Midden, Cees J. H., 2002. "Energy conservation through product-integrated feedback: The roles of goal-setting and social orientation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 589-603, October.
    11. Biegel, Benjamin & Hansen, Lars Henrik & Stoustrup, Jakob & Andersen, Palle & Harbo, Silas, 2014. "Value of flexible consumption in the electricity markets," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 354-362.
    12. Huijts, N.M.A. & De Groot, J.I.M. & Molin, E.J.E. & van Wee, B., 2013. "Intention to act towards a local hydrogen refueling facility: Moral considerations versus self-interest," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 63-74.
    13. Fred D. Davis & Richard P. Bagozzi & Paul R. Warshaw, 1989. "User Acceptance of Computer Technology: A Comparison of Two Theoretical Models," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(8), pages 982-1003, August.
    14. Clastres, Cédric, 2011. "Smart grids: Another step towards competition, energy security and climate change objectives," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 5399-5408, September.
    15. Cédric Clastres, 2011. "Smart grids : Another step towards competition, energy security and climate change objectives," Post-Print halshs-00617702, HAL.
    16. Moura, Pedro S. & de Almeida, Aníbal T., 2010. "The role of demand-side management in the grid integration of wind power," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 87(8), pages 2581-2588, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Ilaria Vigna & Jessica Balest & Wilmer Pasut & Roberta Pernetti, 2020. "Office Occupants’ Perspective Dealing with Energy Flexibility: A Large-Scale Survey in the Province of Bolzano," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(17), pages 1-20, August.
    2. Li Hua & Shanyong Wang, 2019. "Antecedents of Consumers’ Intention to Purchase Energy-Efficient Appliances: An Empirical Study Based on the Technology Acceptance Model and Theory of Planned Behavior," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(10), pages 1-17, May.
    3. Christine Milchram & Geerten Van de Kaa & Neelke Doorn & Rolf Künneke, 2018. "Moral Values as Factors for Social Acceptance of Smart Grid Technologies," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(8), pages 1-23, August.
    4. Walzberg, Julien & Dandres, Thomas & Merveille, Nicolas & Cheriet, Mohamed & Samson, Réjean, 2019. "Assessing behavioural change with agent-based life cycle assessment: Application to smart homes," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 365-376.
    5. Wang, Shanyong & Wang, Jing & Li, Jun & Wang, Jinpeng & Liang, Liang, 2018. "Policy implications for promoting the adoption of electric vehicles: Do consumer’s knowledge, perceived risk and financial incentive policy matter?," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 58-69.
    6. Yuting Zhang & Xiaofen Yu & Ning Cai & Yong Li, 2020. "Analyzing the Employees’ New Media Use in the Energy Industry:The Role of Creative Self-Efficacy, Perceived Usefulness and Leaders’ Use," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(3), pages 1-13, January.
    7. Wei-Ta Fang & Yi-Te Chiang & Eric Ng & Jen-Chieh Lo, 2019. "Using the Norm Activation Model to Predict the Pro-Environmental Behaviors of Public Servants at the Central and Local Governments in Taiwan," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(13), pages 1-20, July.
    8. Ellabban, Omar & Abu-Rub, Haitham, 2016. "Smart grid customers' acceptance and engagement: An overview," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 1285-1298.
    9. Victor Fernández-Guzmán & Edgardo R. Bravo, 2018. "Understanding Continuance Usage of Natural Gas: A Theoretical Model and Empirical Evaluation," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(8), pages 1-17, August.
    10. Rieger, Alexander & Thummert, Robert & Fridgen, Gilbert & Kahlen, Micha & Ketter, Wolfgang, 2016. "Estimating the benefits of cooperation in a residential microgrid: A data-driven approach," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 130-141.
    11. Godina, Radu & Rodrigues, Eduardo M.G. & Matias, João C.O. & Catalão, João P.S., 2016. "Smart electric vehicle charging scheduler for overloading prevention of an industry client power distribution transformer," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 29-42.
    12. Kardooni, Roozbeh & Yusoff, Sumiani Binti & Kari, Fatimah Binti, 2016. "Renewable energy technology acceptance in Peninsular Malaysia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 1-10.
    13. Rodriguez-Calvo, Andrea & Cossent, Rafael & Frías, Pablo, 2018. "Scalability and replicability analysis of large-scale smart grid implementations: Approaches and proposals in Europe," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 1-15.
    14. de Wildt, T.E. & Chappin, E.J.L. & van de Kaa, G. & Herder, P.M. & van de Poel, I.R., 2019. "Conflicting values in the smart electricity grid a comprehensive overview," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 184-196.
    15. Hongping Yuan & Yu Yang & Xiaolong Xue, 2019. "Promoting Owners’ BIM Adoption Behaviors to Achieve Sustainable Project Management," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(14), pages 1-18, July.
    16. von Wirth, Timo & Gislason, Linda & Seidl, Roman, 2018. "Distributed energy systems on a neighborhood scale: Reviewing drivers of and barriers to social acceptance," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 82(P3), pages 2618-2628.
    17. Peng, Hao & Kan, Zhe & Zhao, Dandan & Han, Jianmin & Lu, Jianfeng & Hu, Zhaolong, 2018. "Reliability analysis in interdependent smart grid systems," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 500(C), pages 50-59.
    18. Heesen, Florian & Madlener, Reinhard, 2016. "Technology Acceptance as Part of the Energy Performance Gap in Energy-Efficient Retrofitted Dwellings," FCN Working Papers 25/2014, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
    19. Kirsi Kotilainen & Ulla A. Saari, 2018. "Policy Influence on Consumers’ Evolution into Prosumers—Empirical Findings from an Exploratory Survey in Europe," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(1), pages 1-22, January.
    20. Sheikhi, Aras & Bahrami, Shahab & Ranjbar, Ali Mohammad, 2015. "An autonomous demand response program for electricity and natural gas networks in smart energy hubs," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 490-499.
    21. Kobus, Charlotte B.A. & Klaassen, Elke A.M. & Mugge, Ruth & Schoormans, Jan P.L., 2015. "A real-life assessment on the effect of smart appliances for shifting households’ electricity demand," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 335-343.
    22. Li, Rongling & Dane, Gamze & Finck, Christian & Zeiler, Wim, 2017. "Are building users prepared for energy flexible buildings?—A large-scale survey in the Netherlands," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 203(C), pages 623-634.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:134:y:2014:i:c:p:392-400. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.