Smart grids, renewable energy resources and an innovative service enablement platform are being used to develop smart-energy homes in Stockholm, Sweden, where users can interactively influence their energy consumption. Anders Nilsson from KTH, the Royal Institute of Technology, shares his experiences as part of the Stockholm Royal Seaport Smart City Energy project.

A consortium of partners including Ericsson, the Swedish Energy Agency, Fortum, ABB, Electrolux and KTH – the Royal Institute of Technology – are currently undertaking a Smart City Energy research project in the Stockholm Royal Seaport (SRS) district to uncover how people change their behavior if they receive real-time information about their electricity consumption.

The partners have created a system that connects the apartments of 155 families with the smart grid, providing real-time energy consumption information directly into homes via an innovative service enablement platform.

Undertaking his PhD within Urban Sustainable Development, Anders Nilsson is conducting critical research into user behavior as part of the project. Using both quantitative and qualitative data, Nilsson is evaluating consumer engagement and analyzing how households are responding to the platform in terms of energy consumption.

“The households that I have spoken to so far are excited by the project and the platform, and many of them moved to Stockholm Royal Seaport because it was known as an upcoming sustainable district where these types of solutions are in place,” Nilsson says.

“Looking forward, we are already starting to see a further need for education and information around energy use towards consumers in the project. Some of the feedback we have received so far relates to a lack of understanding around specific terminology, such as units measured, and this has given us some great ideas about how we can further develop the platform to make it more consumer-friendly, easy to use and understand.”

The project concludes at the end of 2017, and it is hoped the research will provide key findings into how consumer behavior around energy use can be influenced to create more sustainable practices.

“I hope to be able to provide better understanding on household energy consumption behavior and how behavior may be influenced,” Nilsson says. “Based on such knowledge I think there is a great potential among many different players to benefit from this. They will be able to further develop their products, services, systems, business models, strategies, policies, etc., but ultimately and most importantly, create sustainable developments for the future that benefit all of humankind.”

Find out more about the Stockholm Royal Seaport Smart City Energy projectand how Ericsson is helping to make sustainable urban development a reality.