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Fresh new article: “Flexible electricity consumption policies in Norway and Sweden: Implications for energy justice”

Electricity meter

IIIEE researcher Jenny Palm together with Tor Håkon Jackson Inderberg and Eivind Hjort Matthiasen (both at Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Norway) have published a new article “Flexible electricity consumption policies in Norway and Sweden: Implications for energy justice”.

In the article the consultation processes around electricity grid tariff models in Norway and Sweden are compared. Policies for shifting household electricity load are in focus in several countries, aimed at optimizing grid operation and tackling current and expected challenges from consumption patterns, like increased peak loads on the grid. The idea is to use price signals to shift consumption patterns by charging the use of significant amounts of grid capacity higher than others. These capacity charges tend however to be developed at the interface between system needs and incumbent actor influence from the sector on the one side, and arguments for a ‘just’ and consumer-oriented design, like simplicity and actual effect on behaviour, on the other. Comparing the consultation processes concerning policy design in Norway and Sweden, this study investigates if and how these capacity charge policies consider consumer perspectives and needs, and explores the implications for energy justice. The two countries have similar tariff models, but differing consumer considerations have become apparent. In both countries, the policy process has been dominated by sector incumbent actors; the consumer considerations that were included were weak, general, and not grounded in knowledge. Consumer representation has been low. In this study, we note the implications for recognition, procedural, and distributional justice. Our findings indicate the need for further development of balanced policy processes within the energy sector.

The article can be downloaded for free until 29 March 2024 using this link.