Prosumers and smart grid technologies in Denmark: developing user competences in smart grid households

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    Abstract

    This paper explores and describes resident’s experiences from a smart grid project that involved 20 households in a rural area in Denmark and ran from 2014 to 2015. The study is based on qualitative data from the participating households, collected 6, 12 and 18 months after the start of the intervention. Drawing on theories of social practice and the three intertwined elements of a practice: competences, images and materials, the paper contributes with an in-depth analysis of a complex intervention, focusing on how the participants changed energy practices as a result of the installed smart grid technologies. Long-term studies on such comprehensive energy interventions and derived changes in domestic energy practices are exceptional. The results show that people relate to their natural environment in new ways and construct new practices according to the movements of the sun; that they gradually become skilled practitioners and prosumers; and that they also increase consumption and develop expectations towards the energy company, requesting better dialogue on energy consumption and control. The paper concludes with reflections and suggestions on how findings may be relevant to policy and research in the area.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEnergy Efficiency
    Volume10
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)1215-1234
    ISSN1570-646X
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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