New Zealand’s electricity infrastructure was built at a time when energy was plentiful, and was designed to support the flow of power from large centralised generators toward end users. However, new energy technologies are starting to challenge this model. Solar photovoltaics (PV) enable end-users to generate their own energy, and, in some cases, sell power back into the grid. Electric vehicles (EVs), which may have a role to play in New Zealand’s transport future, could also dramatically shift the demand profile of households charging their cars overnight. And Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) could offer households and utilities the opportunity to more actively manage this changing demand.
To understand the uptake of these new technologies in more depth we have conducted four different pieces of research. Firstly, because these technol