A complex mixed-methods data-driven energy-centric evaluation of net-positive households

Apostolos Vavouris, Fernanda Guasselli, Lina Stankovic, Vladimir Stankovic, Kirsten Gram-Hanssen, Sébastien Didierjean

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Following the Paris agreement, different policy incentives aiming at the reduction of carbon emissions have been introduced worldwide. Dwellings that benefit from increased renewables penetration, aiming at achieving net-zero and even net-positive energy balance, are being designed and deployed in different countries. This article presents a design mixed-methods approach, based on collected quantitative and qualitative data, to answer the "what", "why" and "how" of energy prosumption in netpositive dwellings. We demonstrate the strong influence of domestic routines and dynamic energy import and export pricing on explaining energy-centric deviation from net-positive design ambitions. Findings from net-positive neighbourhood households, equipped with geothermal heating, solar generation and electric vehicles, in Norway further provide actionable insights on demand-side reduction and flexibility in energy consumption and how to achieve true energy net-positive balance. Specifically, our analysis demonstrates a significant gap between actual energy bills and user expectations, and potential energy cost reduction up to 10% on a per-activity basis through demand side flexibility in relation to dynamic tariffs as well as a maximum observed bill reduction of up to 50% compared to the baseline scenario for households not adapting their activities inline with dynamic tariffs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number123404
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Energy
Early online date11 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 May 2024


  • energy efficiency
  • net-positive
  • mixed-methods methodology
  • demand flexibility


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