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Energy Feedback and Demand Response Strategies: Exploring Household Engagement and Response Using a Mixed Methods Approach
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering.
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Real-time energy feedback (EF) and demand response using dynamic pricing tariffs (DR) have been suggested as effective intervention strategies to meet the need for increased energy efficiency and demand flexibility in the residential sector. Although previous studies provide some empirical support for the effectiveness of EF and DR, evaluation approaches used in practical experiments and field trials commonly suffer from several methodological shortcomings, preventing deeper of knowledge on the potential and barriers for EF and DR to influence household energy consumption.

This thesis explored the potential of employing a mixed methods approach for evaluation of household energy consumption to provide improved understanding on how and why households engage and respond to EF and DR strategies. Three research objectives were set: 1) Analysis of the potential for using high-resolution data from smart meters in evaluation of household energy consumption and response to DR strategies, 2) development of a conceptual framework for evaluation of household responses to EF and DR strategies and analysis of its potential to increase understanding of household responsiveness, and 3) identification and analysis of household motivations, perceptions, and obstacles to engaging in EF and DR strategies.

The work to achieve these objectives followed a mixed methods research methodology grounded on literature reviews and empirical studies in real-life settings in a single case study, an EF/DR field trial taking place in Stockholm Royal Seaport. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods was used for data collection and analysis, comprising interviews, surveys, and statistical analysis of smart meter energy data.

The results suggest that the mixed methods approach addresses several of the limitations and challenges associated with previous evaluation approaches. As regards objective (1), it was found that high-resolution data from smart energy meters can provide evaluation outcomes with increased transparency and accuracy. Regarding objective (2), it was found that the proposed framework can increase understanding of variations in household responsiveness to EF and DR strategies and reveal the relationship between impacts on electricity use and factors influencing energy consumption behavior. As regards objective (3), several obstacles for households to engaging in EF and DR strategies were identified, primarily related to household-individual factors such as knowledge, sense of control, and personal values and attitudes. Based on these findings, key issues and areas for further research are proposed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2018. , p. 51
Series
TRITA-ABE-DLT ; 1825
Keywords [en]
Energy feedback; demand response; household energy consumption; energy efficiency and conservation, demand flexibility; smart grids; smart homes
National Category
Energy Systems
Research subject
Industrial Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-239303ISBN: 978-91-7729-984-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-239303DiVA, id: diva2:1264278
Public defence
2018-12-12, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20181120

Available from: 2018-11-20 Created: 2018-11-19 Last updated: 2018-11-20Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Stockholm Royal Seaport moving towards the goals—Potential and limitations of dynamic and high resolution evaluation data
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Stockholm Royal Seaport moving towards the goals—Potential and limitations of dynamic and high resolution evaluation data
2018 (English)In: Energy and Buildings, ISSN 0378-7788, E-ISSN 1872-6178, Vol. 169, p. 388-396Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Cites have been identified as one key arena to meet future sustainability challenges. However, if cites are to be part of the transition it must become possible to confirm results of ongoing actions. By the introduction information and communication technologies, it has become easier to collect performance parameters from the built environment, thereby enable more detailed evaluation. The aim of this paper is therefore to examine the potential and limitation of using dynamic and high resolution meter data for evaluation of energy consumption in buildings and households. The novelty of this approach is that dynamic and high resolution meter data can increase the level of detail in evaluation results and ease detection of deviations in the structures performance. However, most benefits are found from the occupant perspective, as more detailed evaluation information enable better inclusion of this stakeholder group. Furthermore this study has shown that the commonly used indicator energy use per heated floor area is an insufficient communication tool when taking holistic approach to building energy evaluation. Limitation to full use of dynamic and high resolution meter data have been identified to data collection and management, preservation of personal integrity and incentives to react on the given evaluation information.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018
Keywords
Building evaluation, Dynamic evaluation, High resolution meter data, Stockholm Royal Seaport
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-227540 (URN)10.1016/j.enbuild.2018.03.078 (DOI)000434005700035 ()2-s2.0-85045403250 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20180509

Available from: 2018-05-09 Created: 2018-05-09 Last updated: 2018-11-23Bibliographically approved
2. Assessing the impact of real-time price visualization on residential electricity consumption, costs, and carbon emissions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessing the impact of real-time price visualization on residential electricity consumption, costs, and carbon emissions
2015 (English)In: Resources, Conservation and Recycling, ISSN 0921-3449, E-ISSN 1879-0658, Vol. 124, p. 152-161Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The development of smart grid projects, with demand side management as an integral part, has led to an increased interest of households’ willingness to react to different types of demand response programs. This paper presents a pilot study assessing the impact of real-time price visualization on residential electricity consumption, and its effects on electricity costs and carbon (CO2eq) emissions. We analyze changes in electricity consumption based on a test group and a reference group of 12 households, respectively. To allow for analysis on load shift impact on CO2eq emissions, hourly dynamic CO2eq intensity of the Swedish electricity grid mix is calculated, using electricity generation data, trading data, and fuel-type specific emission factors. The results suggest that, on average, the test households shifted roughly 5% of their total daily electricity consumption from peak hours (of high electricity price) to off-peak hours (of low electricity price) as an effect of real-time price visualization. However, due to the mechanisms of the Swedish electricity market, with a negative relation between spot price and CO2eq intensity, the load shift led to a split effect; electricity costs modestly decreased while CO2eq emissions increased. In addition, any indication of the contribution of real-time spot price visualization to a reduction in overall household electricity consumption level could not be found, as the relative difference in consumption level between the test households and the reference households remained constant during both the baseline period and the test period. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015
Keywords
Demand-response; Real-time electricity price visualization; Residential electricity consumption; CO2 emissions; Dynamic CO2 intensity
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-239182 (URN)10.1016/j.resconrec.2015.10.007 (DOI)000403860200015 ()2-s2.0-84951764359 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20181120

Available from: 2018-11-19 Created: 2018-11-19 Last updated: 2018-11-20Bibliographically approved
3. Household responsiveness to residential demand response strategies - Results and policy implications from a Swedish field study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Household responsiveness to residential demand response strategies - Results and policy implications from a Swedish field study
2018 (English)In: Energy Policy, ISSN 0301-4215, E-ISSN 1873-6777Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To realize the benefits of smart grids, residential demand response (DR) aims to increase demand flexibility by influence household electricity consumption. Although price-based DR programs have shown potential, there is a need to further investigate the effectiveness of DR in energy strategy and policy development. The evaluation of DR has focused on the impact on overall power demand, assuming that consumers are economically rational decision-maker. However, recent findings suggest that consumer responses have been insufficient and calls have been made to identify novel evaluation approaches that better reflect the human dimension of energy consumption. Continuing this line of enquiry, this paper aims to investigate the effectiveness of DR and explore the potential of environmental incentives for increased consumer engagement. We propose an interdisciplinary evaluation framework to understand variations in household responsiveness to DR strategies, which is tested in a Swedish DR field trial covering 136 households during 2017. Results suggest that the effectiveness of DR varies widely across household type; ranging from substantial reductions in overall consumption and during peak periods, to increases in consumption during peak periods. Furthermore, a clear favor of price incentives, compared to environmental incentives, as the most efficient strategy to increase demand flexibility was observed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-239302 (URN)10.1016/j.enpol.2018.07.044 (DOI)000447576700026 ()2-s2.0-85050794561 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20181120

Available from: 2018-11-19 Created: 2018-11-19 Last updated: 2018-11-20Bibliographically approved
4. Smart homes, home energy management systems and real-time feedback- Lessons for influencing household energy consumption from a Swedish field study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Smart homes, home energy management systems and real-time feedback- Lessons for influencing household energy consumption from a Swedish field study
2018 (English)In: Energy and Buildings, ISSN 0378-7788, E-ISSN 1872-6178, Vol. 179, p. 15-25Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Home energy management systems (HEMS), providing energy feedback and smart features through in-home displays, have the potential to support more sustainable household decisions concerning energy consumption. However, recent findings from European smart metering trials have reduced the optimism, suggesting only modest savings from energy feedback. In this paper, we investigate the potential of HEMS to foster reductions in energy use, focusing on a population segment of particular relevance; high-income and highly educated households, considered as early adopters of smart grid technologies. Covering 154 households participating in a field trial in a sustainable city district in Stockholm, Sweden during one year, this study draws on the analyses of smart meter electricity and hot tap water data and in-depth interviews to provide an increased understanding of how feedback and features are perceived, used, and acted upon, and resulting effects on awareness, behavior, and consumption. Our results show that impact on energy consumption varies widely across individual households, suggesting that households respond to energy feedback highly individually. Although HEMS may lead to increased awareness of energy consumption, as well as increased home comfort, several obstacles for energy consumption behavioral change are identified. Drawing from these findings, we suggest policy implications and key issues for future research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-239301 (URN)10.1016/j.enbuild.2018.08.026 (DOI)000449901000002 ()2-s2.0-85053516354 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20181120

Available from: 2018-11-19 Created: 2018-11-19 Last updated: 2018-12-07Bibliographically approved

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