The U.S. Department of Energy is implementing the Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) program under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). The SGIG program involves 99 projects that are deploying smart grid technologies, tools, and techniques for electric transmission, distribution, advanced metering, and customer systems.

A subset of the 99 SGIG projects is conducting consumer behavior studies. These studies examine the response of residential and small commercial customers to time-based rate programs that are implemented in conjunction with the deployment of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and customer systems such as in-home displays (IHDs) and programmable communicating thermostats (PCTs). The SGIG consumer behavior study effort presents an opportunity to advance the electric power industry’s understanding of consumer behaviors in terms of customer acceptance and retention, and energy and peak demand impacts. This is important in assessing the cost-effectiveness of demand-side programs as resource options for use in planning and operating electric power systems.