What's on the top? Household load patterns and peak load problems

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


Most energy behaviour studies on households focus on the questions how and why we use energy and what can be done to lower energy consumption. Very few studies raise the question of when energy is used or examine the underlying explanations to load patterns. Due to economic and technical problems with electricity peak load, it is important to gain knowledge about how the load patterns of households contribute to power peaks, and to what extent households would accept a shifting of the load at certain critical periods.

This paper emphasizes these questions through a case study of ten households with electric space heating in southern Sweden. In these ten households, electricity use for heating, domestic hot water and appliances were measured as three partial loads with five minutes resolution. Energy diaries were kept by the household members. The combination of these two sets of data made it possible to see what appliances were used and what activities were carried out during peaks.

The highest power peaks in the households were based on electricity use for appliances, such as saunas, washing machines, dishwashers, and ovens. Coincidental use of large appliances, for example sauna and shower, gave the very highest peaks. Interviews indicated that there was acceptance among the households concerning a shift in the use of certain appliances at certain periods. However, all households did not have the same possibility to do this, due to their specific conditions and time restrictions.


External organisations
  • External Organization - Unknown
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Energy Engineering
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication[Host publication title missing]
PublisherEEDAL'06 Energy Efficiency in domestic appliances and lighting. Conference Proceedings 2006
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes
EventEnergy Efficiency in Domestic Appliances and Lighting (EEDAL) - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 2006 Jun 212006 Jun 23


ConferenceEnergy Efficiency in Domestic Appliances and Lighting (EEDAL)
CountryUnited Kingdom