Design energy resilience
​Illustration: BOID
Photo: Marcus Folino

Design for energy resilience in the everyday

​Our increasing dependence on electrical and connected products is unsustainable from a resource point of view. It also makes us vulnerable in a future energy system where more renewable sources and climate change increase the probability of power shortages and power outages. To be able to handle disruptions in electricity deliveries, and at the same time live a good and meaningful everyday life, knowledge, new design guidelines for product development and energy-independent alternatives are required.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Science has the project Design for an energy-efficient everyday life on its top 100 list of projects that have the potential to create societal benefits. The project investigates how the transition to a renewable energy system can be facilitated through new opportunities to deal with energy shortages, be prepared for power outages and generally reduce households' energy consumption. Today, there is a lack of knowledge about how to proceed in the event of a power outage. We have also become accustomed to searching for information online, which makes us vulnerable if our wi-fi stops working.

Helena Strömberg- When we have interviewed people, many people think that it is quite easy to cope with a variable energy supply, but when they had to test in staged experiments, a lot of concrete problems arose, but also many solutions and strategies for how to cope with example a power outage, says Helena Strömberg, research leader.

A resilient society is more resource efficient

Today we are dependent on a very reliable electricity and internet supply. One consequence of this is that today's products are also designed based on these conditions. This means that in a crisis we risk not being able to use the products or having to use products that are never or rarely used otherwise. A constant access to electricity often also means that we use more energy than we need. To increase energy resilience in society, research is being done on how everyday products can be designed to reduce household vulnerability in the event of, for example, a power outage, and contribute to a more flexible demand for energy. 

The project develops design guidelines and solution principles for how, for example, alternative power sources can be integrated into electricity products, but also how households can gain knowledge about energy-independent alternatives, or question norms about energy use and what it means to manage on their own. With this knowledge, households' energy resilience can increase in both everyday life and in crisis. It also provides inspiration for more resource-efficient solutions already today. Examples of energy-efficient products will be developed, tested, and form the basis of an exhibition that raises thoughts about energy resilience. The project will also develop guidelines for energy resilience in products so that the technology industry can apply these in future products. 



HSB Living lab

Swedish Energy Agency

Page manager Published: Tue 25 May 2021.