University of Oulu

Understanding potential users of energy community information system : a thematic analysis

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Author: Kaakinen, Samuli1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.6 MB)
Pages: 64
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : S. Kaakinen, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-06-20
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Iivari, Netta
Reviewer: Rajanen, Dorina
Iivari, Netta
Tuomela, Sanna


The continuing global growth of energy consumers, the war in Europe, and climate change are the driving factors for energy revolution. One solution to this concerning issue has been the transformation of energy consumers to become energy producers. Prosumers can be grouped to establish energy communities. Prosumers, energy communities, and other distributed energy resources (DERs) are possible sustainable energy resources that can be connected to the smart grid.

The literature review of existing research about smart grids, distributed energy resources, and energy communities, is conducted to gain a better understanding of the complex system and its stakeholders. The Second part of the literature review follows the behaviour of the potential smart grid users and its recent studies.

The research questions focus on understanding energy prosumer’s perspectives on information system usage in order to discover the advantages and disadvantages of potential information system within an energy community context.

The data were gathered from semi-structured interviews with people who voluntarily replied to application forms which were distributed prior to this study. Qualitative research methods were chosen to be used. A thematic analysis was conducted and as a result a thematic map in which two main themes, 15 sub-themes, and 25 codes were identified.

It was discovered that positive user experience, desired functionalities, monitoring, economic benefits, user interface, beneficial information, and platform availability were the driving factors seen as an advantage of the potential information system. On the other hand, data leaks, undesired functionalities, energy community problems, and negative user experience were seen as disadvantages of the information system.

This study contributes to the field of sustainable human-computer interaction and the findings of this thesis can be used as a foundation for future research and to design and develop the smart grids from the prosumer’s perspective. Due to several requests from participants, the text of the thesis has been written with accessibility in mind, so that the text does not require special expertise in the field of sustainable human-computer interaction.

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Copyright information: © Samuli Kaakinen, 2022. Except otherwise noted, the reuse of this document is authorised under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) licence ( This means that reuse is allowed provided appropriate credit is given and any changes are indicated. For any use or reproduction of elements that are not owned by the author(s), permission may need to be directly from the respective right holders.