When the Wind Blows: How a Scandinavian energy company approaches 'the private energy user challenge'
This paper is about four different 'streams' of traditions (Barth) existing in a specific energy company focusing on the private energy user perspective from the energy company’s point of view. The paper is presenting the first findings of an anthropological fieldwork conducted in a Scandinavian energy company.
The energy company is in a process of developing the future intelligent energy system based on wind power. This future energy system is based on bidirectional communication between the energy company and the private energy actors. The system is therefore dependent on the private energy actors willingness to cooperate with the system in a completely new way in order to make the system work. This relationship towards the private energy actors is a dramatic new challenge to the energy company and the whole cooperate thinking, because until now the energy company has only delivered energy in a unidirectional distribution system. Therefore the company identity has until now been dominated by an almost non-consideration of the private energy user simply because this has not been relevant to the cooperate aim.
The four streams of traditions presented and discussed in the paper are; 1) the private energy actor as an energy customer and the energy company focusing on change of behavior, 2) the private energy actor as an energy user and the energy company focusing on understanding energy use from the private energy actor's point of view, 3) the private energy actor as an energy burden and the energy company focusing on technical solutions, and 4) the private energy actor as an energy user and the energy company focusing on developing a new interaction design between the energy actor and the energy. These different knowledge streams work in different ways according to the company purpose and the company’s strategy and aim at involving the private energy actors in the future energy system.