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Flexible electricity use in households: barriers, opportunities and effects (Flexeffect)

To what extent can households change their patterns of electricity consumption? 

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About the Project

Norwegian authorities are planning to introduce a capacity-based electricity tariff model from 2021 (NVE 2017). The intention is to give end-users incentives to reduce consumption during peak hours in order to limit the need for increased grid capacity in the future. At the same time, householders have their own needs for flexible energy use, and different groups may have different capacity to change their patterns of electricity consumption. This project meets the urgent need for social science research into the effects of policy instruments on electricity demand flexibility (EDF) in Norway.


We focus on householders and their scheduling of electricity consumption in response to instruments for EDF during peak loads. To explore the opportunities and challenges for flexible electricity use, we examine householders’ energy practices, including their degree of motivation for saving energy and investing in new energy technologies. We address how different socio-economic groups respond to and are affected by instruments for EDF. 

Main objective 

Provide recommendations to policymakers, businesses and NGOs on how flexible electricity use among households can be achieved in a socially just way.


S-1: Investigate how information and promotion material for EDF are understood and utilised by different household groups, and their attitudes to capacity pricing.

S-2: Investigate how different instruments to influence EDF currently being tested out in pilot projects affect households’ scheduling of electricity use and their motivation for energy saving, and how this varies between different household groups with respect to social and economic consequences.

S-3: Investigate how instruments to influence EDF affect householders’ motivations to invest in solar PVs and batteries for storage, and how these instruments influence their scheduling of electricity use.

S-4: Investigate how and why policies and regulations for user flexibility are being developed in Norway and Sweden, and the political feasibility of different instruments for EDF


Flexeffect is funded by the Research Council of Norway under the programme EnergiX. It is led by Center for International Climate Research (CICERO) and have the following partners:  Center for Development and the Environment (SUM), Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI), SINTEF Energy Research AS, Lund University (LU), University of Otago (OU), Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), Energy Norway, Istad Nett, Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC), Kongsberg Municipal Property (KMP), Akershus County Council (AFK), Filago AS, Norwegian Solar Energy Society (NSES).


July 2019 - July 2022 

Published June 2, 2020 1:53 PM - Last modified Nov. 25, 2020 11:31 AM