sustainability-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "The Changing Role of End-Users in the Consumption and Production of Residential Energy"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Gianluca Trotta
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Danish Building Research Institute, Aalborg University, 2450 Copenhagen, Denmark
Interests: economics and policy of energy and the environment; energy efficiency; applied micro/macroeconomics; energy behavior; energy consumption; energy transition
Dr. Line Valdorff Madsen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Danish Building Research Institute, Aalborg University, 2450 Copenhagen, Denmark
Interests: energy consumption; sustainable consumption; social practices; gender; comfort; home; housing; energy transition
Dr. Katinka Johansen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Danish Building Research Institute, Aalborg University, 2450 Copenhagen, Denmark
Interests: energy transitions; social psychology; energy policy; environmental governance
Prof. Kirsten Gram-Hanssen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Danish Building Research Institute, Aalborg University, 2450 Copenhagen, Denmark
Interests: energy consumption; sustainable everyday life; social practices; prosumer–consumer relations; home; housing; energy transition

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With the envisioned growth in residential energy demand and climate change mitigation efforts, end-users will be required to play an active role in driving the energy transition. Recent technological advancements in the energy market offer the potential for guiding end-users in reducing energy demand and producing renewable energy, e.g., by making energy more visible and removing the information acquisition costs. However, research shows that technology alone will not be enough for a wide-scale energy transition, and that far-reaching transformations of daily practices are needed; the way in which end-users interact with, and how their daily habits co-evolve with, smart grid and renewable energy technologies are also critical. In addition to this, smart energy technologies will evidently change the daily practices of energy consumers and within households, with the potential of both diminishing and enhancing inequalities, such as those related to gender, socioeconomics, geography, etc.

This Special Issue integrates ideas from sociology, economics, geography, and innovation studies from both qualitative and quantitative perspectives. We will look at the combined effort from different disciplines all trying to provide a better understanding of how we can reduce energy demand in the residential sector and facilitate the transition towards a low-carbon energy system.

This Special Issue will include, but is not limited to, the following topics:

  • Opportunities and challenges in reducing energy demand in the residential sector;
  • Social practices shaping the future of residential energy consumption;
  • Social and gender inequalities related to present and future energy-consuming practices;
  • The interaction between energy-related daily practices and smart grid technologies;
  • Effective form, timing, and context of feedback in reducing energy demand;
  • Household engagement with renewable energy technologies;
  • The changing relations between households and the energy supply system.

Dr. Gianluca Trotta
Dr. Line Valdorff Madsen
Dr. Katinka Johansen
Prof. Kirsten Gram-Hanssen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • energy demand
  • energy consumption
  • households
  • gender
  • information
  • energy behavior
  • theories of social practices
  • residential buildings
  • smart home technologies
  • renewable energy technologies
  • energy transition

Published Papers (3 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Article
The Challenges of Mitigating Climate Change Hidden in End-User Beliefs and Expectations
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2616; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13052616 - 01 Mar 2021
Viewed by 6007
Abstract
This research explores the potential challenges of reducing climate change hidden in the personal and collective energy use-related beliefs and expectations of end users. The study proposes a new typology of social environments, using the concept of personal and collective efficacy, which is [...] Read more.
This research explores the potential challenges of reducing climate change hidden in the personal and collective energy use-related beliefs and expectations of end users. The study proposes a new typology of social environments, using the concept of personal and collective efficacy, which is suitable for exploring the level and nature of the challenges of solving social problems that require engaging whole societies. We use empirical data from round eight of the European Social Survey, which covers more than 20 European countries, and we employ the basic statistical methods of descriptive statistics, linear correlation and population proportion. The findings suggest that the challenges to climate-change mitigation by changing energy-use behaviour could be hidden in contradictions between beliefs in personal and collective abilities to contribute and positive outcome expectations. This opportunity could be addressed by relevant policy measures, providing more evidence of positive outcomes, even from personal contributions, and developing suitable means for collective contributions to increase awareness and belief in collective engagement. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
When Space Heating Becomes Digitalized: Investigating Competencies for Controlling Smart Home Technology in the Energy-Efficient Home
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6031; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12156031 - 27 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1083
Abstract
In the near future, renewable energy sources (RES) will make up an increasing share of energy production in the district heating grid, implying that utilities must enable energy flexibility in order to compensate for the intermittent nature of RES. Current initiatives rely on [...] Read more.
In the near future, renewable energy sources (RES) will make up an increasing share of energy production in the district heating grid, implying that utilities must enable energy flexibility in order to compensate for the intermittent nature of RES. Current initiatives rely on smart approaches, encouraging a flexible energy demand by integrating various demand-side-management technologies. While praised for their ‘smart’ capabilities, smart home technologies have also been criticized for not meeting their potential in terms of savings and flexibility. This paper examines space-heating practices in everyday life in 16 Danish households. The study relies on qualitative in-depth interviews and ‘show and tell’ tours within these homes. Results show how space-heating practices are reconfigured by embodied knowledge related to respectively space-heating and use of smart technology. This implies that occupants’ adaption to smart home technology is reconfigured by their previous experiences as well as the meanings they ascribed to their practices. By showing the different ways in which occupants ‘get to know’ smart home technology, results highlight forms of embodied knowledge which occupants habitually draw on when they heat their homes. Occupants learn and carry competences for conducting space heating throughout life, and interventions aimed at enabling a flexible energy demand need to consider this. As smart home technology is integrated in homes, interventions should consider embodied knowledge as part of occupants’ competences for controlling smart home technology, as this will impact the reconfiguration of (new) space heating practices. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Danish PV Prosumers’ Time-Shifting of Energy-Consuming Everyday Practices
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4121; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12104121 - 18 May 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1121
Abstract
Consumer engagement in the energy system is necessary to ensure a low-carbon transition. However, this has proved difficult because consumers are engaged in pursuing everyday practices rather than focusing on abstract questions of energy. Recent studies have suggested that being a prosumer can [...] Read more.
Consumer engagement in the energy system is necessary to ensure a low-carbon transition. However, this has proved difficult because consumers are engaged in pursuing everyday practices rather than focusing on abstract questions of energy. Recent studies have suggested that being a prosumer can make a difference. This paper builds on survey data from a representative sample of 2505 photovoltaic (PV) owners in Denmark combined with 12 qualitative in-depth interviews. The results indicate that PV owners consider that they have become more concerned about energy consumption and adjust the timing of their everyday practices to their production. Thus, 67% of the households ‘often’ or ‘always’ time-shift the use of washing machines to their production. The extent to which households time-shift is strongly related to their net-metering scheme. Thus, 75% of the households on hourly metering stated that they ‘to some’ or to ‘a great extent’ adjust their consumption, compared to only 26% of the households on annual metering. This financial effect is interpreted in an everyday life context where financial gain transfers meanings of self-sufficiency and sustainability, rather than primarily being viewed as rational economic behaviour. The conclusion discusses the policy implications of methods to engage the consumer. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop