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Smart homes, home energy management systems and real-time feedback- Lessons for influencing household energy consumption from a Swedish field study
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4938-8862
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9869-9707
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering.
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. Vol. 179, p. 15-25
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-239301DOI: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2018.08.026ISI: 000449901000002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85053516354OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-239301DiVA, id: diva2:1264273
Note

QC 20181120

Available from: 2018-11-19 Created: 2018-11-19 Last updated: 2018-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Energy Feedback and Demand Response Strategies: Exploring Household Engagement and Response Using a Mixed Methods Approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Energy Feedback and Demand Response Strategies: Exploring Household Engagement and Response Using a Mixed Methods Approach
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
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:nbn:se:kth:diva-239303 (URN)978-91-7729-984-4 (ISBN)
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

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Lazarevic, DavidBrandt, Nils

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