Fox-Penner eloquently sums up the dominant vision for smart energy consumers in the quote above. They are located downstream, on the demand-side of the supply chain, where a range of choices are provided to suit their specific needs. This conceptualisation is now underpinned by an internationally consistent suite of methods, theories and assumptions, held together by the cumulative weight of ongoing, intensive consumer research. The ultimate energy consumer emerges from these reports as a rational and rationalising Resource Man. He is imagined in the image of his utopian masterminds — engineers, economists and behavioural scientists — and is positioned as an efficient and well-informed micro-resource manager who exercises control and choice over his consumption and energy options. In this way, Resource Man embodies technique in all his actions (Ellul 1976; see Chapter 2), by choosing a range of technological and data-mediated tools to suit his unique lifestyle.
- Supply Chain
- Smart Grid
- Consumer Research
- Smart Home
- Energy Consumer
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Downstream, for end users, the impacts of the Smart Grid are potentially profound. Customers will face electric prices that vary within each day, and they will have far more information and control over their power use and costs. With software simple enough to run on a cell phone, they’ll monitor the energy used by several appliances linked to their home network, controlling them immediately or programming them to react to prices. With the touch of a button you will be able to programme your air conditioner to turn off fifteen minutes out of every hour when hourly electric prices exceed a certain set-point. Yes, you’ll be a little warmer, but you’ll also save good money. And for the majority who don’t want more complex power, appliances will all come preprogrammed so users can connect them seamlessly at factory default settings. (Fox-Penner 2010: 35–6)
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© 2013 Yolande Strengers
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Strengers, Y. (2013). Resource Man. In: Smart Energy Technologies in Everyday Life. Consumption and Public Life. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137267054_3
Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, London
Print ISBN: 978-1-349-44325-3
Online ISBN: 978-1-137-26705-4