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Innovative approaches to assessing the acceptance of future energy products

This study used virtual methodology to assess the acceptance of future regenerative energy products.

The FHNW School of Applied Psychology joined forces with five other FHNW schools in participating in the Strategic Initiative Energy Chance (SIEC). This includes several projects under the thematic heading "sustainable provision and use of energy resources in combination with respecting the environment". The contribution of the FHNW School of Applied Psychology within the REV project consisted of examining the socio-technical system of a regional energy network from a psychological perspective and, using the insights gained, promoting its benefits for the economy and society in the long term.

Study on customer acceptance

Work package 1.1 "Customer needs" involved focus groups as well as a study on customer acceptance by means of a virtual online experiment. Furthermore, in collaboration with the FHNW School of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geomatics, a virtual reality approach was used to test the user-friendliness of an intelligent power management tool's user interface.


The results of the studies indicate that consumers hold widely differing views concerning power supplies of the future. Customers can be divided into categories, which can help position future energy products more effectively. Moreover, it was possible to develop validated and tested tools for the evaluation of acceptance and willingness to participate, as well as a virtual exploration and test platform for user-centred designs.

Project Dates

Lead and Team Dr. Oliver Christ, Dr. Martin Soland, Thomas Wyssenbach
Funding FHNW; Strategic Initiative
Collaboration IBAarau, AEK
Duration January 2015 - December 2017
  • Soland, M., Loosli, S., Koch, J. & Christ, O.(2017) Acceptance among residential electricity consumers regarding scenarios of a transformed energy system in Switzerland—a focus group study. Energy Efficiency.
  • Loosli, S. & Christ, O. (2016).Emotional monitoring after focus group: What are household consumers' concerns toward scenarios of future utility customer interactions in the Swiss electricity sector. Behave 2016 Conference Proceedings.
  • Fuss, R., Loosli, S., Wyssenbach, T., Zeballos, M., Probst, J., Christ, O. (2015). Predictors of attitudes towards regenerative energies. The 5th World Sustainability Forum p.199.
  • Koch, J., Hulliger, M., Würgler, F., Schneeberger, C. & Christ, O. (2015). Preferences of regenerative energy production in Switzerland. ECOS 2015 Conference Proceedings.

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