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Journal Articles Building and Environment Year : 2022

Ten questions concerning energy flexibility in buildings

Rongling Li
Andrew Satchwell
  • Function : Author
Donal Finn
  • Function : Author
Toke Haunstrup Christensen
  • Function : Author
Michaël Kummert
  • Function : Author
Rui Amaral Lopes
  • Function : Author
Henrik Madsen
  • Function : Author
Jaume Salom
  • Function : Author
Gregor Henze
  • Function : Author
Kim Wittchen
  • Function : Author


Demand side energy flexibility is increasingly being viewed as an essential enabler for the swift transition to a low-carbon energy system that displaces conventional fossil fuels with renewable energy sources while maintaining, if not improving, the operation of the energy system. Building energy flexibility may address several challenges facing energy systems and electricity consumers as society transitions to a low-carbon energy system characterized by distributed and intermittent energy resources. For example, by changing the timing and amount of building energy consumption through advanced building technologies, electricity demand and supply balance can be improved to enable greater integration of variable renewable energy. Although the benefits of utilizing energy flexibility from the built environment are generally recognized, solutions that reflect diversity in building stocks, customer behavior, and market rules and regulations need to be developed for successful implementation. In this paper, we pose and answer ten questions covering technological, social, commercial, and regulatory aspects to enable the utilization of energy flexibility of buildings in practice. In particular, we provide a critical overview of techniques and methods for quantifying and harnessing energy flexibility. We discuss the concepts of resilience and multi-carrier energy systems and their relation to energy flexibility. We argue the importance of balancing stakeholder engagement and technology deployment. Finally, we highlight the crucial roles of standardization, regulation, and policy in advancing the deployment of energy flexible buildings.

Dates and versions

hal-03839586 , version 1 (04-11-2022)



Rongling Li, Andrew Satchwell, Donal Finn, Toke Haunstrup Christensen, Michaël Kummert, et al.. Ten questions concerning energy flexibility in buildings. Building and Environment, 2022, 223, pp.109461. ⟨10.1016/j.buildenv.2022.109461⟩. ⟨hal-03839586⟩
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