Customers' perspective on REWARDHeat solutions

In this deliverable, the customers’ perspective on the REWARDHeat solutions is in focus. A survey was conducted with both professional customers and end-users in connection to the REWARDHeat demonstration sites in seven different countries (Denmark, Croatia, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden and Netherlands).Customers comfort requirements, flexibility & temporality of the services, willingness to pay for green energy and other aspects for increased end-user engagement in the H&C solution have been addressed. The district heating addressed in the survey offers one or several of the following services: space heating, cooling and domestic hot water.63 responses were collected, 25 from professional customers and 38 from end-users. Respondents think that temperature is the most important aspect of indoor climate. To 51% of respondents the most important indoor climate factor is indoor temperature and to another 25% an evenly distributed temperature is the most important. There is a flexibility in when the services in the district heating offer are more and less important during the day according to 84% of respondents. Only 16% of respondents consider all services to be equally important throughout the day. Domestic hot water is the service respondents are the least flexible about, hot water is considered to be equally important throughout the day according to 48% of respondents. There is further a flexibility in which rooms are more and less important to maintain a comfortable indoor climate.

The most important rooms where a comfortable indoor climate must be maintained are the bathroom, dining room and living room. Less important rooms are the garage (71% of respondents answered that the room is less important) and the basement (65%), followed by the bedroom (41%). The next generation district energy solutions, such as the REWARDHeat solutions, have competitive advantages compared to other heating solutions in being able to match customers comfort requirements more closely. Increased control could for example enable different temperature levels in different rooms. Comparison of the customers comfort requirements with national legislation on indoor climate yields that all countries need improvement to avoid reducing the efficiency, health and comfort of occupants. Especially the customers’ thermal comfort needs to be better guarded against high temperatures.The cost of heating and cooling is important or very important to 89% of respondents and 94% want to be able to impact the cost. 81% of respondents perceive energy as a commodity and are prone to demand such pricing schemes. 75% of respondents prefer that someone else managed the maintenance of the H&C equipment. The main risk perceived by 32% of respondents towards increasing the level of servicification is a more expensive bill and foreseen benefits are increased comfort (17%) and a carefree contract (21%). 17% of respondents did not perceive any benefits and 27% did not know. Customers engagement in the energy solutions will require more information to create a pull from the market for increased servicification and for customers to develop towards becoming energy citizens. 56% of the respondents display a willingness to pay for a greener heat supply. 18% are willing to pay more than 6% more and 38% would be willing to pay a 1-5% higher price. For a more rapid energy transition, incentives for customers to actively choose green energy are needed.

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