The demand response (DR) programs intend to influence the consumers (household, commercial and industry) behaviour, to promote their active participation in the energy market and to improve their load pattern. This research work addresses the issue of public awareness and acceptance for DR programs. The study focused on a methodology supported on survey of an academic sample of students from one university in Portugal. From the collected information a statistical model based on linear regression was proposed. This study suggests that female students are more willing than male students to defer their electricity consumption. Other factors such as knowledge on time of usage (TOU) tariffs, concerns about reduction of imported energy and the acceptance of the automatic control of the heating or cooling system could have a positive effect on the willingness to defer electricity use. The conclusion of this paper presents then important insights for encouraging the students to engage in DR programs. Moreover, and in spite of the homogenous characteristics and reduced size of the sample, the results allowed to demonstrate the relevance of the study and to propose directions for its extension for a larger population.