It is clear the energy system is changing. People are installing rooftop solar, batteries, and electric vehicles at an increasing rate. In response, the energy system is undertaking major reforms. But the question remains: How should people be involved in the development of these reforms?
The Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program has completed a project that tackled this subject using a process called ‘value sensitive design’. Value sensitive design is a way of integrating diverse and not easily quantifiable values into design processes. This approach enabled the researchers to explore consumer values and determine how these values could influence the direction of the energy system.
The project revealed the following:
- People want to be involved early in energy system reform.
People appreciated experts leading the design and operation of the energy system but many wanted to help set the direction at the beginning of the design process as well as helping to refine implemented solutions over time. We found that the concept of ‘values’ to be common ground for those working in industry and consumers alike.
- People wish the energy system helped them respond better to change
Our design project was about how distribution capacity could be managed. But in this process we found that participants felt overwhelmed by the scale and pace of change in energy. They proposed to us an ‘honest broker’ that could help them navigate this change. Brokers can be people, technology, or communities. Their main requirement is that they are ‘honest’ or unbound to commercial drivers.
2 pm – Welcome & introduction
2.05 – 2.15 pm – Customer focussed network management: Project overview by Laura Jones
2.15 – 2.35 pm – Project findings by Laura Jones and Brenda Martin
2.35 – 3 pm – Audience Q&A moderated by Pip Watson
Register for the event using this link