• Smart consumer
  • Smart customer
  • Smart citizen

Incentives & Rewards

As financial benefits are often not the most persuasive drivers for smart grid customers, the challenge is to appeal to emotional aspects by applying an adequate mixture of incentives. An incentive is a stimulus that motivates users to behave in a certain way. Rewards can be offered as a compensation for desired behavior.

Bonus/malus – changing behaviour with rewards and penalties - Rewards and penalties can be used to improve demand response behaviour and to help users become aware of their consumption habits. This guideline explains how bonus/malus can be applied in energy tariffs and gamification approaches.

Choosing and combining monetary and non-monetary incentives - Which incentives can be applied to influence people's energy behaviour? This guideline offers a (non-exhaustive) overview of theoretical backgrounds, differentiating characteristics of different types of incentives and hints for their implementation during different project stages.

Choosing from different types of monetary incentives - This is a sub-guideline to the main guideline that looks into combining incentives. This sub-guideline contains an overview of the different types monetary incentives that can trigger motivation in customers.

Choosing from different types of non-monetary incentives - This is a sub-guideline to the main guideline that looks into combining incentives. The guideline contains an overview of the different types non-monetary incentives that can trigger motivation in customers.

Designing a dynamic tariff - Dynamic pricing schemes aim to motivate consumers to shift and/or decrease their energy use. This guideline gives insights on the design aspects of these pricing schemes and some key lessons based on current experiences. Moreover, an overview is given of the different tariff types which are being tested today.

Gamification – making energy fun - Gamification can be used to inform participants about (smart) energy topics or to motivate customers to reach energy efficiency or demand response objectives in a playful manner. This guideline gives project manager of R&D projects or utility energy project manager theoretical and practical insights into the topic of gamification.

How personal goals can motivate behavioural change - The desire to attain a goal can be a strong source of motivation. This guideline explains how setting personal goals can be a applied as a (non-monetary) incentive for energy customers to change their behaviour.

How to make energy visible through feedback - Utilities that want to develop and implement energy feedback to their customers need to consider both benefits and potential challenges from the possible options. This guideline provides advice and good examples on when and how feedback can be used in smart grid projects.

Motivating consumers with social comparison and competition - Social comparison and competition are strong motivators for consumer to change their behaviour. This guideline focuses on how to use these mechanisms in a smart grid environment.

Strategy finder for tariffs & incentives - With this information compiler tool you can organise what information about tariffs, monetary and non-monetary incentives you want to collect and print as PDF, similarly to the Create your personal notebook tool. It allows you to get an easy overview of what tariffs and incentives you can use for more efficient consumer behaviour changes. 

Smart Energy Quiz - An interactive quiz module that conveys knowledge about energy efficiency and energy related topics in a playful manner. It allows utilities to present themselves to their customers as a responsible supplier and to learn more about their customers’ energy behaviour. To try the Smart Energy Quiz tool, click here.

Testing tariff schemes in a pilot context - You can read about practical advice for researchers on how to test a tariff scheme in an experimental set-up. It also provides suggestions to face barriers (e.g. regulatory) which might hamper a realistic application of the tariff scheme. For optimal use of this guideline, the reader must be familiar with dynamic tariffs.