The digitalisation of the power industry, and the roll-out of smart metering in particular, unleashes new opportunities for electricity consumers. New technology and new market options can provide the basis for more active participation and better insight into electricity consumption.

NVE wants all consumers to take part in the opportunities that follows the roll-out of smart metering and works continuously to gather knowledge about the measures needed to facilitate this development in the retail market. Below you can read about some of the areas NVE works with.

Distributing information

Research shows that information and feedback about electricity consumption and costs makes consumers more conscious of their own consumption, and motivates them to save more electricity. Smart metering enables consumers to use various types of information solutions that visualise electricity consumption in realtime. For example, using an application on a mobile phone/tablet or a separate in-home energy display. You can read more about smart metering here (in Norwegian).

NVE commissioned VaasaETT to carry out a study, which showed that Norwegian electricity consumers can save at least 11% on their annual consumption thanks to information received on their electricity consumption. VaasaETT believes that the effects of feedback solutions alone will be doubled if solutions for automatisation and controlling consumption are included in the calculations. The VaasaETT study can be found here (in Norwegian).

Smart electricity – smart consumers

1 May 2015, Enova and NVE put out a call for tenders for partial public financing on pilot projects among Norwegian power companies to test various technologies, services, business models and feedback solutions.

€6.5 million of public money will be distributed across seven pilot projects over six years. The pilots start up in 2016 and involve 25 000 electricity customers.

The experience from the pilot projects will give increased knowledge about what motivates consumers to save electricity. The pilots may also stimulate the power market to develop new types of services that are useful for consumers.

The seven winners of the competition are EB Strøm, Eidsiva Marked, Fjordkraft, Follo Energi, Lyse Energisalg, NTE Marked and Ringeriks-Kraft Strøm.

Local flexibility as an alternative to grid investments

An increase in the use of appliances and machines demands greater capacity from electricity grids. At the same time, an increasing share of electricity production will come from renewable technologies that cannot be controlled or stored (i.e. solar, wind, bioenergy, etc.). These developments increase the need for flexibility and can lead to capacity limitations in grids.

The need for increased grid capacity is today met by building more grids, even though peak capacity is only reached a few hours throughout the year. Alternatively, capacity issues could be solved via disconnection or reduction in certain consumption during peak hours. This is commonly known as demand response. Storing electricity (batteries) or flexible production can be used for the same purpose.

NVE is looking into opportunities to use market mechanisms for flexibility, in order to handle capacity issues in the grid. A market-based solution will enable the correct pricing of flexibility as an alternative to building more grids. THEMA Consulting Group has been commissioned by NVE to produce a report on important aspects that need to be considered when developing such a market. The report highlights, among other things, what is needed for DSOs to utilise the ability and will of consumers and power producers to reduce consumption or production of electricity as an alternative to grid investments, what various flexibility offers can contribute with and how a potential market-based solution can be designed. You can read the report here (in Norwegian).