Why is Statnett conducting research into price sensitivity?
Statnett currently lacks the necessary knowledge of how urban consumption will be affected by variable electricity prices in the future. Based on historical data, it is possible to say something about today’s price sensitivity, but not so much about future price sensitivity.
We expect consumers to be more price-sensitive in the future because hourly electricity prices are expected to vary more due to greater fluctuations in power prices and the planned introduction of power tariffs. Technological innovations such as smart management will also make it easier for people to adjust their power consumption by automating decisions about their consumption, for example when a building should be heated up and when to charge an electric car.
Without a good knowledge of how consumers react to different electricity prices, our consumption forecasts would show a great need for transmission capacity and can thus lead to over-investment in the grid. Statnett must be at least 10 years ahead of its forecasts. Therefore, we cannot simply wait and see how price sensitivity develops over time. We need to know today what it will be like in 10 years.
How will the research project identify price sensitivity?
The project has conducted a price experiment in the winter of 2019/20, using a selection of households and office buildings in the larger cities, where we measured people’s actual responses to different price signals. The experiment will provide data on how different consumers react when their electricity consumption is at different prices. The results must be generalizable and transferable to all cities in Norway. Therefore, we conduct a similar experiment in the winter of 2020/21 to obtain the best possible data.
Useful for the entire industry and for society
Statnett, together with our partners, will test existing solutions that consumers can use to reduce their electricity bills by adapting to different electricity prices. To achieve this, several companies must offer products and services that give the consumer this opportunity. The project will facilitate this development so that the results can benefit all of society.
Research and collaboration project
The project is being carried out together with electricity suppliers and technology companies to utilize their expertise, customer base, and existing solutions.
In addition, the project is receiving assistance from Ipsos to recruit households for the experiment and to conduct surveys.
The project is also collaborating with FME CINELDI and a reference group consisting of grid companies, the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), ENOVA, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and SINTEF. In addition, an industrial PhD student from Statnett is collaborating with NTNU on this project. The industrial PhD student is funded by the Research Council of Norway.
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