Consumer-centric factors for the implementation of smart meters in South Africa




Smart meter implementation is still in its infancy in many African countries, including South Africa. This is evident from the fact that most research studies are either Eurocentric or American-centric. Hence, this research aimed to identify consumer-centric factors for planning considerations in implementation of smart meters in South Africa. We used various behavioural theoretical models found in literature to identify potential factors relevant to this study. Based on quantitatively gathered data (n = 705), a structural equation model (SEM) was used to evaluate the identified factors. This study found that only ten consumer-centric factors were significant to smart meter consumers. These factors include behavioural intention, attitude, trust in technology, social norms, facilitating conditions, perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, privacy risk, monetary cost, and perceived value. In conclusion, the study shows that not all factors suggested within the European and American context are relevant for smart meter implementation within the South African context. Hence, results of this study hold some practical implications in assisting utility companies in identifying consumer-centric factors that are relevant to the South African population. Finally, consumer-centric factors can be used by policy makers and energy regulators as baseline factors for future pervasive technology acceptance studies.






Research Papers (general)