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Transition to decentralised electricity storage: the complexities of consumer decision-making and cost-benefit analyses

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 21:15 authored by Veryan HannVeryan Hann
An industry-supported smart grid pilot on Bruny Island, Australia (2016–2019) trialled the cost-effectiveness and management of consumer-owned energy storage for a potential future grid. Understanding consumer decision-making is pivotal to smart-battery uptake and depends on a relevant value proposition. An in-depth, exploratory case study of a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is presented, with the CBA found to be favourable, due to low ongoing costs and the pilot project subsidy. However, some pilot participants remained dissatisfied despite a beneficial CBA. This demonstrates additional logics outside of the CBA methodology. One example explored was the value of battery backup for reliability. Policy learnings include the fact that battery backup is an important value for prosumers in rural contexts. However, battery backup might have value and relevance in urban contexts where energy self-consumption can be maximised (for example, with the addition of electric vehicles). Finally, policy makers might consider smart-battery schemes to provide detailed, transparent, CBA-like data for energy consumers to enable transparency, trust, and more accessible information to assist decision-making processes.


Publication title

Energy Policy



Article number







School of Social Sciences


Elsevier Sci Ltd

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The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Oxon, Ox5 1Gb

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© 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Socio-economic Objectives

Energy services and utilities