Grant for research on flexible electricity use in Norwegian households

The project will meet the urgent need for social science research on flexible electricity policy and technology in Norway.

Norwegian authorities are currently discussing new instruments for motivating households to reduce electricity demand during peak hours. Photo: Neven Krcmarek on

Norway normally has sufficient electricity production to cover its total demand. However, seasonal variations and factors such as morning and afternoon peak-hour demands, and new trends in household devices and electric vehicles, challenge the capacity unless managed well.

This is why Norwegian authorities and grid companies consider developing new electricity tariff structures that will be capacity-based. Enabled by the rollout of smart meters, operators may charge ‘rush-hour prices’ on electricity or introduce other instruments to ensure electricity demand flexibility.

How can flexible electricity use in Norwegian households be promoted and achieved?

Professor Tanja Winther will lead one of the project's five work packages.

The FlexEffect project will explore the opportunities and challenges for flexible electricity use in Norway, and address how different socio-economic groups respond to and are affected by such policy and technology changes. The project will provide recommendations to policymakers, businesses and NGOs on how flexible electricity use among households can be achieved.

Research Director at CICERO, Hege Westskog, will  lead the project. Professor at SUM, Tanja Winther, will lead a work package focusing on the effects of pilot projects on scheduling of electricity use and households' motivations for energy saving. SUM researcher Ulrikke Wethal will also be involved in the project, studying household energy practices.

Transdisciplinary project

Researcher Ulrikke Wethal will study energy practices of households.

The project will be a transdisciplinary collaboration between economists, anthropologists, political scientists, human geographers, electrical engineers and practitioners.

The partners of the project, in addition to SUM, are: Center for International Climate Research (CICERO), Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI), SINTEF Energy Research AS, Lund University, University of Otago, Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), Energy Norway, Istad Nett, Norwegian Consumer Council, Kongsberg Municipal Property, Akershus County Council, Filago AS and Norwegian Solar Energy Society (NSES).



The Flexible electricity use in households: barriers, opportunities and effects (FlexEffect) project is one of 40 research projects that has been granted funds from the ENERGIX call for research on sustainable energy.

Research on sustainable consumption and energy

Read more about the research group Sustainable consumption and energy equity at SUM.

By Lise Bjerke
Published Jan. 18, 2019 8:00 AM - Last modified Jan. 18, 2019 8:54 AM