Information about own consumption patterns, and sometimes electricity prices or consequences of this for the power system, can contribute to consumers adjusting their demand. Often, information is provided through a smartphone app. This means that demand can be shifted from periods of peak demand to periods of low demand and/or periods of high variable generation. This can, in turn, contribute to a better balance between supply and demand both long-, medium- and short-term. The reference projects mainly researched residential demand, but one demonstration also covered a municipality.
Components & enablers
- Smart metering
- Effective sensors
- Removal of regulatory barriers: some countries do not allow customers/third parties direct access to metering data
State of the art in application and research
Awareness of energy-related issues is limited, as demonstrated by the Flexiciency project. Smart meters are being rolled out across Europe in various paces and make possible access to real-time or near real-time information about own consumption might change the ways in which consumers adjust their electricity demand.
In Ireland, the Power off and save project tested whether and how fast residential consumers would respond to a notification sent to their phone when there was congestion in the grid, and awarded customers with a reduction in their electricity bill. It found that incorporation of smart homes allows peak reduction, particularly in the mornings and evenings. Most participants responded to a request to reduce their consumption within 5-25 minutes.
Flexiciency and Power off and save both found that automatic control appliances, both in homes, on EVs and in municipal buildings, increase the efficiency of the information measure. Automatic control maximizes customer comfort and minimizes the required effort.
In most Flexiciency pilots, consumption was reduced when informed about consumption. The results from the Swedish pilot are ambiguous, but this might be due to a small sample. The positive results might be due to the motivation of participants in the project, rather than information in itself – projects are not able to confirm whether this has been controlled for.
Technology Readiness Level
ENOVA is currently carrying out seven large-scale pilots. Flexiciency has previously done the same. Information about consumption and apps communicating this have proven feasible and have beneficial results.
Current focus of R&D and research gaps
Seven Norwegian ENOVA AMS pilot projects currently test whether access to real-time information about own electricity consumption can lead to changes in the consumption pattern. The goal of the project, which in total has more than 20 000 participants, is mainly to test whether consumption is reduced, but also when there is peak demand.
 ENOVA AMS-målere piloter. [Link]
 Flexiciency: Italy, Spain and Sweden. [Link]
 RealValue. [Link]
 Flex4Grid. [Link]