Adoption and Use of Smart Plugs for Demand Side Management in India
India is plagued with the twin problems of exceedingly high levels of air pollution and low access to electricity. To address these issues, India plans to dramatically scale electricity capacity in conventional and renewable resources. To fully harness the benefits of renewable energy for not only improving access and reliability but also reducing carbon emissions and particulate matter, the challenge of grid load balancing must be met. We propose a pilot to test the drivers and barriers related to the adoption of “smart plugs” that can reduce energy usage at peak times, as determined by the utility in real time. Such flexibility reduces the need for fossil fuel back-up generation and attenuates reliability issues associated with India’s rapid renewable energy expansion. If successful, our pilot will deliver a proof-of-concept at the household level allowing us to scale up and study effects at the grid level.