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The Ghost in the Heat Pump: Examining social flexibility potential in thermal comfort practices through an experiment of remote-controlled heating in detached houses
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division of Psychology, Pedagogy and Sociology. (KAMAIL)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7597-8359
Division of Built Environment RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Göteborg (SWE).
Division of Built Environment RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Göteborg (SWE).
2023 (English)In: Conference Proceedings  BEHAVE 2023 the 7th European Conference on Behaviour Change for Energy Efficiency / [ed] Marta Lopes, Kaisa Matschoss, Thijs Bouman, European Energy Network; Netherlands Enterprise Agency , 2023, p. 240-251Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Utilizing energy flexibility in households through smart steering of appliances has received attention as one way to reduce power peaks and adapt demand to a renewable energy system. Heating is a big part of the electricity consumption in households, and heat pump technology is growing in popularity for heating detached houses. While there is ongoing research calculating the technical potential for energy flexibility from heat pumps, few studies combine remote control of heat pumps with qualitative research on how households experience this control. The purpose of this study is to find out how long-term steering of heat pumps is experienced by households, how it affects their heating practices, and how they make sense of remote steering as a service. The data originates from an interdisciplinary project combining a field trial where heat pumps of selected Swedish households were remotely controlled for two winter periods, with qualitative interviews with the households. We conducted interviews with 12 participants, before and after the trial.The results show that households were overall positive towards offering flexibility through remote-controlled heat pumps, and that the steering of the heating blended well with normal temperature variation associated with having a villa in Sweden. However, the respondents were mystified by the procedure, which created a ghost in the heat pump. Furthermore, remote steering as a service comes with challenges related to reliability, security, and agency over the heat pump. Important social conditions for adopting flexibility through remote steering of heat pumps are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
European Energy Network; Netherlands Enterprise Agency , 2023. p. 240-251
Keywords [en]
Heat Pump, Energy Flexibility, Household, Remote-controlled, Demand Response
National Category
Learning Energy Engineering Energy Systems
Research subject
Work Integrated Learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-21101OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-21101DiVA, id: diva2:1821394
Conference
7th Behave Conference of the European Energy Network (EnR), Maastricht, Netherlands, 28-29th November 2023
Available from: 2023-12-20 Created: 2023-12-20 Last updated: 2024-01-11Bibliographically approved

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Björner Brauer, Hanna

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CiteExportLink to record
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