What do residents think of flexible district energy?
Flexibility is important for energy systems and there is a flexibility potential in the thermal inertia of residential buildings. With a survey, the Flexi-Sync project will now find out what residents think of making use of this flexibility potential.
Flexibility is an important ability in energy systems as a way to manage mismatches between weather-dependent electricity production and variable energy demand. The thermal capacity of residential buildings is one way to realize flexibility in energy systems that will be demonstrated at some of the Flexi-Sync project’s demo sites. These buildings will provide flexibility to the district energy system by using the buildings’ thermal inertia to reduce the heat demand during “peak load” hours. But what residents in such buildings think of flexibility is still relatively unexplored. The Flexi-Sync project is therefore conducting a survey with residents in apartments, both in the demo sites and others.
The aim of the survey is to investigate what residents in apartments think of flexible district energy in general, their attitudes towards different ranges of indoor temperature, and which factors – apart from indoor temperature range – that residents find important in relation to flexible district energy.
The survey includes three written flexibility scenarios for respondents to state their preference towards and to comment on. The scenarios have been developed together by the Flexi-Sync partners. In addition, the survey includes more traditional survey questions regarding current satisfaction with indoor thermal conditions, preferred flexibility range, and demographic information about the respondents.
The survey is conducted by RISE Research Institutes of Sweden in collaboration with IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute. The survey will be distributed in January and February 2021 and the housing companies in the project assist in distributing the survey. At this stage, the survey will be distributed in Sweden only as the questions are adapted to Swedish conditions. The survey is available in Swedish and English.