My apartment is cold! Household perceptions of indoor climate and demand-side management in Sweden
Journal article, 2021

Space heating represents a major share of a households’ total energy consumption and related CO2 emissions. An approach often suggested to improve both the environmental and economic performance of the energy system is demand-side management. However, there has been little research into how households perceive load shifting in space heating. This paper evaluates the thermal perception among tenants in 33 multi-residential buildings connected to district heating in Sweden. Centrally controlled load shifts were applied in eight of these buildings during a two-week trial in early winter. The participants recorded their thermal sensation and thermal satisfaction in a diary, supplemented by opening and closing surveys. The results indicated that indoor temperatures at home were generally experienced as being low, especially in the morning. Control over heating was regarded as insufficient. No statistically significant difference in thermal sensation and satisfaction between days with and without load shifts was identified. However, after the trial, significantly fewer participants than before were willing to accept greater temperature variations to save energy. The study further highlights four factors that may influence the perception and acceptance of demand-side management in residential space heating: (1) set indoor climate conditions, (2) timing and magnitude of load shifts, (3) individual control and (4) communication.

thermal comfort

residential energy consumption

domestic heating

demand-side management

peak shaving


Sofie Hagejärd

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Architectural theory and methods

Giliam Dokter

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Architectural theory and methods

Ulrike Rahe

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Architectural theory and methods

Paula Femenias

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Design

Energy Research and Social Science

2214-6296 (eISSN)

Vol. 73 101948

FIWARE for Smart Energy Platform (FISMEP)

Swedish Energy Agency (2016-006146), 2017-03-01 -- 2020-02-28.

Areas of Advance

Information and Communication Technology


Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Subject Categories

Energy Systems



More information

Latest update

3/4/2021 1