Energy saving targets – tested in households in the Swedish largest electricity saving experiment

Panel: 8. Dynamics of consumption

This is a peer-reviewed paper.

Author:
Jurek Pyrko, Lund University, Dept of Energy Sciences, Sweden

Abstract

This paper presents the scientific evaluation of the results from the Swedish largest electricity saving experiment carried out during one year (February 2012–January 2013). 10,000 households from across the country, all of them customers of the grid company E.ON Sweden, have been involved in the experiment to find out how much electricity could be saved if the households had continual feedback on the usage and, above all, if it was possible to obtain energy use related behavioural changes in the households. At the beginning of the experiment, certain targets regarding expected electricity savings, compared to the year before, were decided by the participants. Electricity consumption and the cost was visualised via real-time meters with so-called 100Koll displays. In an experimental computer and smart phone application, the participants could follow their electricity use visualized in different ways. Five special motivation-boosting actions were included in the experiment. Facebook and the customers’ personal web pages on the company’s site were used as main communication channels. Scientific evaluation of the experiment included both quantitative and qualitative analyses of the households’ behaviour and experience (via web-questionnaires and in-depth interviews). At the end of the experiment, the overall temperature-corrected electricity saving was about 0.74% for the whole population, compared to 1.5% rise of electricity use for the control group. “Active households” as a whole saved 1.71% of power and those who saved power reached 8.43% savings. Those who reached their targets within this “active” group saved 14.88%. The participants declared that they hade made both technical and behavioural changes in their households thanks to the participation in the experiment. A majority of the participants would like to keep the possibility of getting energy feedback. A half of households would be willing to pay for this type of energy service in the future.

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