19.12.2023 | Press release

Household flexibility: the key to a sustainable energy transition

In the study “Using household-related flexibilities” published on 9 December 2023, the FfE, in cooperation with Agora Energiewende, examined the use of flexibilities in private households for the energy system. The results suggest that the mobilisation of these resources can make a significant contribution to the sustainable transformation of the energy sector.

A high flexibility potential for households:

Additional consumers such as electric vehicles, heat pumps and battery storage systems not only lead to increased demand for electricity, but also enable a high degree of flexibility. With the ongoing digitalisation of the electricity system and a suitable incentive systems, this flexibility can be used to bring together demand and generation. In 2035, a temporally shiftable consumption of 100 terawatt hours could be achieved. This corresponds to more than 10 % of the assumed total electricity consumption in Germany [1]. Electric vehicles play a major role in this by providing more than half of the available household-related flexibility through flexible charging times and bidirectional charging (see Figure 1).

Utilization of flexibility pays off despite higher grid expansion requirements:

The use of household-related flexibility makes a significant contribution to reducing the need for conventional power plants, large batteries and fuels. Although the costs for the necessary distribution grid expansion are more than doubled due to flexibilization, they are significantly lower compared to the costs saved.

Efficient relief for distribution grids through dynamic grid fees:

The introduction of dynamic grid fees will reduce additional grid expansion costs by up to 45 % by 2035. This limits the speed of the necessary grid expansion to the level of recent years. Nevertheless, 90 % of the flexibility will still be available to the market.

A lower electricity bill for customers:

Households that use their flexibility can save almost half of their electricity procurement costs. This active participation not only contributes to the better integration of renewable energies, but also lowers electricity prices overall, which also benefits inflexible households. Assuming the current level of grid fees, they can be reduced by around 11 % for flexible customers through dynamization.

Figure 1: Aggregated load profile of the flexible consumption facilities for the scenario with low flexibilization (lowFlex) and high flexibilization (Flex) and the exchange electricity prices from the Flex scenario in 2035 averaged over one day

The study therefore suggests that household-related flexibility is an essential driver for an efficient and sustainable energy transition. The study also examines the extent to which the grid expansion demand can be postponed as a result of power limitation in accordance with §14a EnWG and what repercussions this has on consumers.

Weitere Informationen


[1] Agora Energiewende & Prognos AG & Consentec GmbH Consulting (2022): Klimaneutrales Stromsystem 2035. Wie der deutsche Stromsektor bis zum Jahr 2035 klimaneutral werden kann. https://www.agora-energiewende.de/veroeffentlichungen/klimaneutrales-strom-system-2035/.