Skip to main content

Energy Behaviour Change driven by plug-and-play-and-forget ICT and Business Models focusing on complementary currency for Energy Efficiency for the Wider Population

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - BENEFFICE (Energy Behaviour Change driven by plug-and-play-and-forget ICT and Business Models focusing on complementary currency for Energy Efficiency for the Wider Population)

Reporting period: 2020-07-01 to 2021-04-30

Free riding, rebound effect and other barriers critically undermine EC policies that aim to reduce energy consumption. Although, several economic approaches and business models have been implemented to date, the objective to reach the goal of energy reduction is not achieved.
BENEFFICE’s strategic objective was to reduce wasted energy by developing a novel ecosystem which enables and incentivises long-term energy consumption savings to various consumer types. BENEFFICE ecosystem leveraged novel IoT enabled, devices, energy disaggregation and an innovative empowerment and rewards approach based on an alternative monetary currency so as to change consumers’ energy consumption behaviour. An energy behaviour model was used to correlate the identified consumption patterns with optimal, personalised comfort levels and characteristics in order to determine optimal energy use behaviour to reduce wastage of energy and to increase the use of renewable resources. More specifically, BENEFFICE designs personalized, real-time motivational paths to deliver sustained reductions in energy consumption.
Customers are incentivized to follow these paths voluntarily, through the application of novel business models that provide monetary rewards in return for progress. These business models are based on an innovative digital Green Euros currency that offers a revolutionary approach to incentivize an energy efficient behavior through monetary rewards.
The final project achievements can summarized to the following:
•Addressed the ethical issues and requirements on the procedures implemented for data collection, storage, protection, retention, destruction, and confirmation that they comply with national and EU legislation.
•Performed a Data Privacy Impact Assessment (DPIA)
•Contractual agreements (i.e. Informed consents, Joint Data Controllers Agreement).
•Identified and analysed the end user requirements and their translation into functional and technical requirements, defined the target groups, described the early and final use cases for the system, designed the general BENEFFICE reference architecture.
•Delivered a reusable and extensible personalised recommendation model which triggers users actions and can be the basis for intelligent interactions with the user.
•A list of individually functional components which can be reusable in other applications was developed:
oSensing components (gateway, configuration, deployment)
oBENEFFICE Platform backend and frontend (interfaces for Pilot Admins)
oBENEFFICE mobile application
oData Analytics module
oTrained Energy disaggregation algorithm
oGreen Energy Scheduling module
oRecommendation Engine
oCO2 credit management system
•Gathered real data on a custom kit to train the disaggregation algorithm for the first time in the literature.
•Multi step evaluation methodology to capture the feedback of the residential users in a unified and consistent manner in all deployment sites as well as the recruitment methodology for residential users
•Three focus groups for UX/UI usability tested the mobile app
•Various tests with selected users ensured the wider trials.
•Pilots involved 101 users that installed and tested the final BENEFFICE system in Austria, France, Greece and Spain and saved between 4-17% energy in a period of almost 7 months.
•Baseline calculation methodology based on the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP
•Performed extensive evaluation of the pilot results based on specific validation metrics including consumption and savings analysis
•Achieved energy savings in all pilot sites and a high percentage of behavioural change among participants
•Designed and distributed a green Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), the Green Euro
•Analysed existing business models for energy efficiency and drawbacks based on economic theory
•Defined Policy recommendations for EU energy policy makers
•Designed different business models generating Green Euros
•Designed business models for the pilots based on the BASE/X approach
•Identified business strategies and provided services per partner based on the BASE/X approach
•Organised several meetings with policy makers
•Organised discussions with utilities and DSOs seeking to provide added value to their customers for a potential exploitation of the meters which have been installed all around Europe
•Prepared and/or participated in communication and awareness raising activities promoting the project and its results in web, social and physical means:
ologo, flyer, poster, general presentation, website and social networking sites on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, all of which continuously updated with progress and achievements.
oWebsite with targeted messages to the identified target groups (consumers, retailers, utilities, DSO’s and policy makers)
oProject presence in partners’ websites.
oSeveral scientific publications and articles in mass media
oFour project videos and two press releases
oEvents at national and European level (conferences, events and workshops)
oCo-organisation of two workshops along with other EU funded projects
oParticipation in a pitch event
oPreparation and launch of a marketing campaign
•Identified target markets and customers and exploitable results both as a whole service and as discrete exploitable outcomes.
•Timely and appropriate trouble-shooting, immediate reaction to problems and misunderstandings and adequate use of all project resources by the project and technical management
BENEFFICE aimed to achieve improved energy efficiency by leveraging diverse approaches that have each been proven to have achieved energy efficiency. By applying these approaches together, the project achieved much higher performance in terms of both qualitative and quantitative energy use. In summary:
a. The hardware device, that is easy to install and directly interconnected with multipurpose ICT analytics, is affordable and can allow wide-scale adoption without additional costs for installation and is expected to attract the interest of consumers who want simple and effective solutions.
b. The recommendation model captures accurately the user profile and correlates it with existing patterns thus improving the ability of the recommendation engine to provide more appropriate, personalised and easy to understand and execute advice.
c. The disaggregation approach allows consumers to identify the most energy consuming devices and activities and thus will be able to target them with specific actions.
d. BENEFFICE mobile application enables the direct communication with the consumers providing useful information about their energy consumption and relative recommendations. In addition, the users based on their daily, weekly, monthly savings have the opportunity to win badges, grow the tree that appears in the Home screen of the mobile app and win Green Euros.
The key differentiating factor of BENEFFICE is the Green Euros business modelling approach. BENEFFICE integrates a revolutionary perspective to the stimulation of reduced energy use, based on digital currency. Monetary innovation is known to be a powerful tool for behavioural change and an incentive for individuals to voluntary reduce their energy consumption.