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Connecting research to practice to improve energy demand-side management (DSM)


  • Breukers, S.C.
  • Heiskanen, E.
  • Brohmann, B.
  • Mourik, R.M.
  • Feenstra, C.F.J.


Exchange of experience between researchers and practitioners is important for arriving at new knowledge that is translatable into practice and at the same time endures in science. This notion has been central in CHANGING BEHAVIOUR, a project aimed at a better understanding of why energy demand-side management (DSM) programmes succeed or fail. Generally, there is a growing tradition of evaluation that encompasses the co-construction of programmes, technology and context. Nevertheless, most current research and evaluation in this particular area focuses solely on the influence of programme characteristics while overlooking contextual factors and transdisciplinary integration. This paper presents the outcomes of theoretical and empirical work involving new insights regarding the crucial conditions for successful energy DSM programmes. In addition, we demonstrate the usefulness of an Action Research methodology that aims to explicitly promote social change though transdisciplinary collaboration between researchers and practitioners. We conclude that a conceptualisation of energy behavioural change as nested within and interacting with broader social processes differs from existing models that place individual change processes at the centre of attention. The toolbox we developed for and with practitioners (involved in designing and implementing energy demand-side programmes) differs accordingly, among others in that it is context-sensitive.

Suggested Citation

  • Breukers, S.C. & Heiskanen, E. & Brohmann, B. & Mourik, R.M. & Feenstra, C.F.J., 2011. "Connecting research to practice to improve energy demand-side management (DSM)," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 2176-2185.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:36:y:2011:i:4:p:2176-2185
    DOI: 10.1016/

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Didden, Marcel H. & D'haeseleer, William D., 2003. "Demand Side Management in a competitive European market: Who should be responsible for its implementation?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(13), pages 1307-1314, October.
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    2. Alberts, Genevieve & Gurguc, Zeynep & Koutroumpis, Pantelis & Martin, Ralf & Muûls, Mirabelle & Napp, Tamaryn, 2016. "Competition and norms: A self-defeating combination?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 504-523.
    3. Behrang, M.A. & Assareh, E. & Ghalambaz, M. & Assari, M.R. & Noghrehabadi, A.R., 2011. "Forecasting future oil demand in Iran using GSA (Gravitational Search Algorithm)," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 5649-5654.
    4. Kris Kessels & Carolien Kraan & Ludwig Karg & Simone Maggiore & Pieter Valkering & Erik Laes, 2016. "Fostering Residential Demand Response through Dynamic Pricing Schemes: A Behavioural Review of Smart Grid Pilots in Europe," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(9), pages 1-21, September.
    5. Layer, Patrick & Feurer, Sven & Jochem, Patrick, 2017. "Perceived price complexity of dynamic energy tariffs: An investigation of antecedents and consequences," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 244-254.
    6. Lopes, M.A.R. & Antunes, C.H. & Martins, N., 2012. "Energy behaviours as promoters of energy efficiency: A 21st century review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 4095-4104.
    7. Farid, Amro M. & Jiang, Bo & Muzhikyan, Aramazd & Youcef-Toumi, Kamal, 2016. "The need for holistic enterprise control assessment methods for the future electricity grid," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 669-685.
    8. Bing Wang & Qiran Cai & Zhenming Sun, 2020. "Determinants of Willingness to Participate in Urban Incentive-Based Energy Demand-Side Response: An Empirical Micro-Data Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(19), pages 1-18, September.
    9. 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.
    10. Prasertsak Charoen & Marios Sioutis & Saher Javaid & Chalie Charoenlarpnopparut & Yuto Lim & Yasuo Tan, 2019. "User-Centric Consumption Scheduling and Fair Billing Mechanism in Demand-Side Management," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(1), pages 1-20, January.


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