Imperial College London

Dr Richard Carmichael (CPsychol)

Faculty of Natural SciencesCentre for Environmental Policy

Research Associate







Energy Futures LabElectrical EngineeringSouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

14 results found

Carmichael R, Gross R, Hanna R, Rhodes A, Green Tet al., 2021, The Demand Response Technology Cluster: accelerating UK residential consumer engagement with time-of-use tariffs, electric vehicles and smart meters via digital comparison tools, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol: 139, ISSN: 1364-0321

Cost-effectively decarbonising the power sector and household energy use using variable renewable energy will require that electricity consumption becomes much more flexible and responsive to constraints in supply and the distribution network. In recent years residential demand response (DR) has received increasing attention that has sought to answer, based on current evidence, questions about how much consumers will engage with DR. This paper critically reviews the evidence base for residential consumer engagement with DR and draws out several important limitations in it. We argue for a more action- oriented focus on developing practical strategies to enable and unlock greater loadshifting and consumer engagement with DR within a changing technology and regulatory context. A number of recommendations are put forward for accelerating UK consumer engagement with DR, presented under three broad strategies: (a) promote awareness of smart tariffs, smart meters and storage and automation behind-the-meter devices as mutually-supportive components within a common ‘DR technology cluster’; (b) deliver targeted support for adoption of electric vehicles and other storage and automation technologies; (c) enable and support informed adoption of DR-enabling products and services through ‘smarter’ digital comparison tools (DCTs), data portability, and faster, simpler switching. The interdependency between components within this DR technology cluster delivers efficiency but also poses a risk that one delayed component (e.g., smart metering) will hold-up policy and industry support for other components. The urgency of decarbonisation goals makes it necessary to push forward as many of these elements as possible rather than the pace being set by the slowest.

Journal article

Carmichael RICHARD, Halttunen KRISTA, Palazzo Corner SOFIA, Rhodes AIDANet al., 2021, Paying for UK Net Zero: principles for a cost-effective and fair transition


Carmichael R, 2021, The shift to sustainable diets, PSYCHOLOGIST, Vol: 34, Pages: 45-47, ISSN: 0952-8229

Journal article

Carmichael R, Rhodes A, Hanna R, Gross Ret al., 2020, Smart and flexible electric heat: an energy futures lab briefing paper, Smart and Flexible Electric Heat: An Energy Futures Lab Briefing Paper

Heating in residential, commercial and industrial settings makes up almost half of final energy consumption in the UK, more than the energy consumed for electricity or transport. The electrification of heat is anticipated to play a major role for the UK’s efforts to reduce emissions to net-zero by 2050. Heating demand is highly variable between seasons and time of day. To take maximum advantage of low-carbon generation, and to respect the limitations of the distribution grid, electricity loads for heating will need to be flexible. This Briefing Paper explores the potential for smart flexible low-carbon electric heating in UK homes and the challenges for consumer engagement. This paper considers four key elements for enabling smart, flexible and cost- effective electric heating in UK homes: low-carbon heating systems; cost-reflective electricity pricing; thermally efficient buildings; and smart storage devices.


Carmichael R, 2020, Becoming vegetarian and vegan: rhetoric, ambivalence and repression in self-narrative

This thesis takes a discursive-rhetorical approach to becoming vegetarian and vegan. Previous studies have pointed to complexity and variety in definitions, types and most highly prized but ambivalently valued foodstuffs. The cultural and social criteria of vegetarianism, making `objective' studies difficult. Meat is also one of the meanings of diet in terms of `identities' are well established but the rhetorical approach taken here explores identity as accomplished through social practices offocus is on the complex and varied construction of social categories/identities in accounting. Rather than seeing variation and disagreement as problematic, analytic recast as dilemmas of identity and account-giving. accounts and the practices of justification and criticism. Cultural ambivalences areDiary and serial interview `case-material' was collected from 23 new and aspiringvegetarians and vegans. Participants' accounts are shown to handle a number of dilemmatic aspects of vegetarian/vegan identity; notably, a dilemma of moral superiority and a dilemma of abstinence. These dilemmas are discussed in terms of identity-management is argued to fundamentally involve relationships. Seen as stereotype-avoidance, commitment, and the co-construction of self and Other. Such biographical elements in self-construction, the inter-dependence of self- contexts, texts and resources for account-giving, relationships highlight both local and narratives/identities and the need for managing them, especially when identities are changed. A number of other rhetorical resources and practices used in the management of identity are also drawn out, including the discourses of lapsing, desire dilemmas of accounting through presenting the self as ambivalent, conflicted and and temptation and accounts of suppression and repression. The management of divided is underlined. Following recent work by Billig (e. g., 1999a), ambivalence and to a discussion of identity, contradiction and repression in terms o

Thesis dissertation

Carmichael R, 2019, Behaviour change, public engagement and Net Zero, a report for the Committee on Climate Change, London, UK, Publisher: Centre for Energy Policy and Technology (ICEPT) and Centre for Environmental Policy (CEP)

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) appointed Dr. Richard Carmichael from Imperial College London to help understand the potential for people to make choices that can contribute to reducing emissions, and what this means for policy. This independently published report sets out a range of policy interventions that could encourage changes across surface transport, aviation, heating and diet change. It helped to inform the Committee’s report on Net Zero – The UK’s contribution to stopping global warming, published in May 2019.The independent report does not reflect the view of the Committee, and we do not agree with all of the recommendations.


Carmichael R, Gross R, Rhodes A, 2018, Unlocking the potential of residential electricity consumer engagement with Demand Response

Working paper

Schofield J, Carmichael R, Tindemans S, Woolf M, Bilton M, Strbac Get al., 2015, Experimental validation of residential consumer responsiveness to dynamic time-of-use pricing, 23rd International Conference on Electricity Distribution (CIRED)

This paper describes the first analysis from the LowCarbon London (LCL), residential dynamic time-of-use(dToU) pricing trial that took place in the London areaduring 2013. High price induced peak reductions fornetwork constraint management are investigatedalongside the temporal availability of demand responsefor supply balancing. By examining both these use caseswe identify potential conflicts between network andsystem objectives. Demand response results are stratifiedby a ranking metric for engagement with the dToU tariffas well as household occupancy and socio-economicclassification.

Conference paper

Carmichael R, Schofield J, Bilton M, Ozaki R, Strbac Get al., 2014, 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

Conference paper

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


Bilton M, Carmichael R, Whitney A, Dragovic J, Schofield J, Woolf M, Strbacet al., 2014, Accessiblity and validity of smart meter data, Report C5 for the “Low Carbon London” LCNF project: Imperial College London, C5


Schofield J, Carmichael R, Tindemans S, Woolf M, Bilton M, Strbac Get al., 2014, Residential consumer responsiveness to time-varying pricing, Report A3 for the “Low Carbon London” LCNF project


Miotto A, Lessiter J, Freeman J, Carmichael R, Ferrari Eet al., 2011, Cognitive training via interactive television: drivers, barriers and potential users, Universal Access in the Information Society, Pages: 1-18

This paper describes research to investigate the attitudinal and motivational factors that might facilitate or inhibit the uptake and use of cognitive training (CT) applications via interactive television (iTV) by both young and older people and to explore the profiles of potential users of such applications. A questionnaire was designed and distributed as part of the Vital Mind (VM) project. Data from a sample of 848 young and older people were collected and analysed using principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (CA). PCA of 41 attitude statements identified six components/factors. Three factors measured potential drivers to uptake and use of iTV-based CT applications (‘active wellbeing’, ‘health concern’ and ‘technophilia’) and two measured potential barriers (‘unprogressiveness’ and ‘telly-negativity’). A sixth factor (‘active sociability’) could act as either a driver or barrier, depending on how socially oriented are different CT applications. CA of the factors and age data revealed seven different profiles of potential users of CT through iTV. Three of the clusters were predominantly older (labelled Cultured-Conservatives, Digital-Immigrants and Telly-Fans), three were younger (labelled Healthy-Strivers, Digital-Natives and Net-Generation) and one was middle-aged (labelled Busy-Interactors). Reported media use and activity (mental, physical and social) were consistent with the attitude profiles of the clusters. The appeal of iTV-based CT was generally high, with Digital-Natives and Digital-Immigrants indicating the most interest. This research provides evidence for the key attitudinal dimensions predictive of likely adoption and use of iTV-based CT, and a refined understanding of target younger and older user markets.

Journal article

Coventry KR, Carmichael R, Garrod SC, 1994, Spatial Prepositions, Object-Specific Function, and Task Requirements, Journal of Semantics, Pages: 289-309

Two separate issues were looked at in this experimental study of the semantics of spatial prepositions. In the context of work to specify general factors of a functional geometry mediating the use of spatial prepositions (Garrod & Sanford 1989; Coventry 1992, 1993), object-specific effects were investigated. Subjects described video scenes of various objects and their responses of in, on, over, and beside were monitored. The independent variables involved the manipulation of functionality specific to various types of objects. It was concluded that knowledge about how particular objects interact with each other contributes to the representation of functional relations which determine preposition usage. Therefore a specification of functional geometries cannot proceed without a prior formulation of our knowledge about the physical and social worlds. Additionally two different experimental measures of prepositional covariance with the scenes were used: Lickert-scale judgements and sentence completions. Responses from two separate groups were compared. The findings indicated some agreement between the two measures, but also some differences in patterns of response. It is suggested that the measures are tapping different processes, and that a variety of methods need to be used to abstract to lexical representation.

Journal article

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