Consumer investment in distributed energy resources (DERs) is increasing the penetration of renewable energy in the grid. In some cases, DERs produce more electricity than needed by the owner and this excess electricity is sold to the utility (e.g., net metering). In contrast, energy sharing allows a facilitator, which may or may not be the utility, to redistribute excess renewable electricity to fellow community members directly. However, little is known about consumer interest in participating in this type of arrangement. This preregistered study uses structural equation modeling to compare two behavioral theories, Value-Belief-Norm and Diffusion of Innovation, to predict consumer interest in participating in energy sharing. Participants answered questions about energy sharing in the context of an energy-sharing community facilitated by the fictional company, E-topia. Survey data from 195 online participants suggest that Value-Belief-Norm is a better, although not quite acceptable, fit. This suggests that early adoption of energy sharing may be driven by appealing to core values rather than novelty-seeking. This study implies that individuals are more likely to participate in a new technology system such as energy sharing when the effects of participation align with individuals' values.


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Diffusion of innovation; Energy sharing; Renewable energy; Renewable energy community; Sharing economy; Sustainable change; Value-belief-norm

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2021 The Authors, All rights reserved.

Creative Commons Licensing

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Publication Date

02 Jul 2021