Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesCentre for Environmental Policy

Research Associate







Energy Futures LabElectrical EngineeringSouth Kensington Campus





Richard Carmichael is based within the Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London. His research interests are in action-oriented and policy-relevant research on promoting sustainable behaviour, lifestyles and wellbeing, with particular interests in energy, technology and diet.

Richard has a broad social science background with over ten years post-doctoral research experience in behaviour change, technology adoption and energy consumer engagement working in interdisciplinary collaborative projects and as a researcher and consultant collaborating with academic and industry partners and government.

He has recently completed a secondment to the Committee on Climate Change providing social science analysis to support the Committee’s advice on the UK’s Net Zero emissions target and to author 'Behaviour change, public engagement and Net Zero', an independent report that recommends a range of policy interventions that could enable and encourage shifts in behaviour across surface transport, aviation, heating, and diet as well as promote greater public engagement with the climate challenge generally.

He is a Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol) and holds an MA Hons in Psychology (Dundee), MSc in Critical Social Psychology (Lancaster) and a PG Cert in coaching psychology and career coaching (UEL). His PhD (Loughborough, 2002) looked at becoming vegetarian/vegan from the perspective of social, rhetorical and discursive psychology.

Richard has worked on several projects exploring residential consumer engagement with smart time-varying electricity tariffs and Demand Side Response technologies, including a recent Energy Futures Lab briefing paper. He led research and analysis of consumer engagement on the UK's first trial of 'wind-following' dynamic pricing for residential electricity within the LCNF-supported 'Low Carbon London' project and was part of a small team which delivered a consultation for Ofgem on the distributional impacts of time-of-use tariffs

Prior to working at Imperial College, he was Research Fellow in Psychology at Goldsmiths, responsible for user and industry research across three EC-funded (FP6) ICT/media technology research projects including technology adoption, user experience and market segmentations. Outside of academia, Richard has worked in publishing and wildlife conservation in Africa.

Specialities/expertise: behaviour change and public engagement for Net Zero | consumer behaviour, engagement and technology adoption (especially smart energy tariffs and demand response technologies) | social psychology of food and dietary change (vegetarian/vegan identity) | trial design | consumer identity and advertising | rhetorical social psychology and discursive psychology, especially with respect to identity/self-narrative | coaching psychology and evidence-based coaching practice | 

Selected Publications


Carmichael R, Schofield J, Bilton M, et al., Dynamic pricing of electricity for wind-following?: Understanding demand-response and consumer engagement on the UK’s first trial of a dynamic time-of-use tariff for residential electricity, BEHAVE 2014 Conference


Carmichael R, Schofield J, Woolf M, et al., 2014, Residential consumer attitudes to time-varying pricing, Report A2 for the 'Low Carbon London' LCNF project, A2, London, Imperial College

More Publications