Materiality and automation of household practices

Experiences from a Danish time shifting trial

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearch

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Abstract

There is widespread agreement that households’ electricity consumption should be flexible in order to balance demand and supply in the future smart grid. One approach to demand-side management is to time shift households’ consumption through economic incentives. This paper explores the experiences from a Danish household trial that combined static time-ofuse
pricing with electric vehicles. On the basis of the empirical findings from qualitative interviews, the paper discusses what role materiality plays in the interviewed households’ experiences with time shifting their
electricity-consuming practices. The interviews indicate that in particular practices where some of the activities are delegated to technologies (automatized) are most likely to be time shifted. Examples of these practices are dishwashing (with delegation of activities to dishwashers), laundering (the washing machine and tumble dryer) and EV-charging (use of
timers). The empirical observations point to an interesting interplay between the practitioners’ bodily involvement in practices and the delegation of specific activities (tasks) to machines, which also relates to a more general discussion of (semi-)automatization. In addition, the empirical findings indicate that not only the specific design of technologies but also the general materiality and physical layout of the home influence to what extent the households did time shift their practices. This also points to the importance of recognising how everyday practices of households are spatially embedded and how the time shifting of
some practices might interfere negatively with other practices.
The empirical findings open up for theoretical reflections about the relationship between human and non-human actants and how this influences possible strategies for time shifting the electricity demand. As part of this, the concept of distributed agency within assemblages of practice could prove a useful concept in understanding and analysing time shifting of households’ electricity consumption
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDemand Conference 2016 papers
Number of pages10
Publication date2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventThe DEMAND Centre Conference 2016: What energy is for: the making and dynamics of demand - Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Apr 201615 Apr 2016
http://www.demand.ac.uk/conference-2016/

Conference

ConferenceThe DEMAND Centre Conference 2016
LocationLancaster University
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLancaster
Period13/04/201615/04/2016
Internet address

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automation
experience
electricity consumption
demand
time
electric vehicle
role play
qualitative interview
layout
electricity
incentive
supply
interview
management

Cite this

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title = "Materiality and automation of household practices: Experiences from a Danish time shifting trial",
abstract = "There is widespread agreement that households’ electricity consumption should be flexible in order to balance demand and supply in the future smart grid. One approach to demand-side management is to time shift households’ consumption through economic incentives. This paper explores the experiences from a Danish household trial that combined static time-ofusepricing with electric vehicles. On the basis of the empirical findings from qualitative interviews, the paper discusses what role materiality plays in the interviewed households’ experiences with time shifting theirelectricity-consuming practices. The interviews indicate that in particular practices where some of the activities are delegated to technologies (automatized) are most likely to be time shifted. Examples of these practices are dishwashing (with delegation of activities to dishwashers), laundering (the washing machine and tumble dryer) and EV-charging (use oftimers). The empirical observations point to an interesting interplay between the practitioners’ bodily involvement in practices and the delegation of specific activities (tasks) to machines, which also relates to a more general discussion of (semi-)automatization. In addition, the empirical findings indicate that not only the specific design of technologies but also the general materiality and physical layout of the home influence to what extent the households did time shift their practices. This also points to the importance of recognising how everyday practices of households are spatially embedded and how the time shifting ofsome practices might interfere negatively with other practices.The empirical findings open up for theoretical reflections about the relationship between human and non-human actants and how this influences possible strategies for time shifting the electricity demand. As part of this, the concept of distributed agency within assemblages of practice could prove a useful concept in understanding and analysing time shifting of households’ electricity consumption",
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Christensen, TH & Friis, F 2016, Materiality and automation of household practices: Experiences from a Danish time shifting trial. in Demand Conference 2016 papers., Lancaster, United Kingdom, 13/04/2016.

Materiality and automation of household practices : Experiences from a Danish time shifting trial. / Christensen, Toke Haunstrup; Friis, Freja.

Demand Conference 2016 papers. 2016.

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearch

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