In the end, all efforts towards a flexible grid supporting sustainable energy, will be carried by consumers.
Consumers will need to make investment decisions. They will need to take technical measures in their homes and have their homes turned upside-down. They will need to change their behaviour and use less electricity at night, where they have been told for ages that the off-peak hours are at night. Flexibility will carry a price, and there will be new pricing models and new service offerings for electricity.
They will need to understand why all of this is necessary to support a transition towards sustainable energy. This will pose questions …
Should I buy a heat pump? What about solar panels? PV or solar collectors? Should I replace my central heating boiler with a heat pump today? Or next time I need to buy a new one? 2050 is still far away. Will there be a subsidy for my project? If not now, maybe in future?
Shall I wait until prices come down? Which of the competing technologies or suppliers should I choose, or can I trust? If I now make these investments and I sell my house, will my house be worth more? Then, what about my car?
Consumers are facing lots of uncertainties, and they are going to be overwhelmed. And this is for a product (electricity) that has no interest whatsoever. Getting consumers engaged is going to be no easy task, and as an industry, we will very likely make things complicated rather than easy and comfortable.
Having built Eneco’s Toon, Arjen Noorbergen has learnt first hand how consumers deal with energy matters. He will share his views on how consumers could potentially be taken from total ignorance to engaged DR-users …