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Dr. Chien-fei Chen spoke at the DoE's Berkeley Lab at the University of California, Berkeley, on Jan. 5, 2018 as part of their ETA (Energy Technologies Area) Seminar Series. Her presentation was titled "Is Technology Enough? Social-psychological Analysis of Demand Response Behaviors and Home Energy Management System." 

Abstract: 

Improving energy efficiency behaviors requires the consideration of both technology improvement and human factors. While a growing number of recent studies have focused on the development of technology or the promotion of environmental behaviors, little attention has been paid to a comprehensive set of social-psychological factors relating to occupants’ behaviors. This presentation will address the social-psychological analysis of voluntary demand response behaviors across three different income groups and public acceptance of smart home management system.  Importantly, this presentation will present the measurement of latent variables (e.g., energy saving attitudes) from social scientists’ perspective. The demand response project is built upon the results conducted among 1482 U.S. residents from the States of California, Texas, Tennessee and Virginia based on the collaborative research with power system engineers and social-psychologists. This study is an early attempt to examine DR potential in light of social concerns, such as income disparity and energy inequality.  The second part of the presentation will focus on the comparison of public acceptance of home energy management system in the United States and Japan among 2200 residents. The influence of social-psychological variables and demographics on the acceptance of home energy management system will be presented. Our studies demonstrated a framework in which the effects of multiple social-psychological factors should be carefully examined.

Bio: Dr. Chien-fei Chen is a research professor and director of education and diversity program at NSF-DOE funded engineering research center, Center for Ultra-wide-area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Networks (CURENT), Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is also an adjunct faculty in the department of sociology. Her research interests include interdisciplinary research of power systems, renewable energy, energy conservation behaviors and environmental sociology.Her recent publications appear in the IEEEBuilding and EnvironmentEnergyEnergy Research and Social ScienceJournal of Environmental Psychology, ASHRAE, American Sociological AssociationBehavior, Energy and Climate Change Conference, and so on. Currently, she leads the projects of public acceptance of power grid technologies and demand response at CURNET. Since 2014, she has involved with the investigation of social psychological factors affecting building occupant behaviors for the International Energy Agency (IEA), Energy in Buildings and Communities (EBC) Annex 66. Additionally, she leads sustainability education program and social psychological analysis of energy behaviors for the NSF-REC-SEES Network: Predictive Modeling Network for Sustainable Human-Building Ecosystems (SHBE). She has received several grant awards from National Science Foundation to conduct interdisciplinary studies regarding public acceptance of communication technology and social-psychological factors and micro-grid resilience and acceptance of grid technologies. 

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