User-Centred Energy Systems (UsersTCP)

The UsersTCP provides evidence from socio-technical research on the design, social acceptance and usability of clean energy technologies. Users play a central role within energy systems. The findings will support political decisions for a clean, efficient and safe energy system.

Short Description

The UsersTCP was launched in October 2019 and continues the work of the IEA TCP "Demand Side Management". The TCP stategy has been revised and is focused on the current challenges of the energy revolution.

The energy sector is undergoing an unprecedented period of change. The environmental imperative to decarbonise requires a rapid increase in demand-side energy efficiency, alongside growth of intermittent distributed renewable generation at the grid edge. Simultaneously, digitalisation is changing wider social expectations of service, value and usability. These social and environmental forces are turning the energy system inside out, making it imperative that technology designers and policy makers properly understand how people permit, adopt and use new energy technologies.

Policies that do not take account of user behaviour hold back the energy transition. Adopting a 'systems perspective' makes people—technology designers, policy makers, intermediaries and end users—as integral as hardware and software to delivering an energy system that meets our wider social, environmental and economic goals. This 'socio-technical' approach is core to the User-Centred Energy Systems TCP.

In the period 2020-2025 the UsersTCP focuses on areas where user choices and actions play a large role in determining both the variability and overall level of power and energy use.

The objectives for 2020-2025 are:

  • Provide impartial, reliable and authoritative research, guidelines and recommended practices to policy/decision makers and implementers based on international evidence.
  • Establish at least four international networks of expertise on socio-technical aspects of energy use.
  • To work with other TCPs to provide multi-disciplinary research on key energy transition topics.

The User-Centred Energy Systems Academy will build upon the success of the DSMUniversity, providing a valuable dissemination tool for this and other TCPs, as well as the broader international energy community.

Ongoing Tasks

Completed Tasks


Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, India, Ireland, Italy, South Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States

Contact Address

Exco representative
Tara Esterl
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology
Giefinggasse 6, 1210 Wien

Exco alternate
Mag. Sabine Mitter
Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology
Tel.: +43 (1) 711 62 - 652915