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Fostering Energy Efficiency and BehAvioural Change through ICT

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FEEdBACk (Fostering Energy Efficiency and BehAvioural Change through ICT)

Reporting period: 2019-05-01 to 2021-04-30

The objectives of the FEEdBACk project are to develop, integrate and trial a wide range of energy focused ICT and behaviour modification applications, that will be used to engage energy users and permit them to understand and change their energy consumption related behaviour in three different built environments (Office/Research Labs, Schools, Domestic smart homes) in three climatic settings (northern Portugal, Mediterranean Spain, and northern Germany). The consortium, from seven EU countries, that has been assembled to deliver FEEdBACk consists of highly experienced research organisations in the energy area; three SMEs that specialise in e-learning digital communication applications targeted at behaviour change and in building energy data gathering and representation to managers and users; and three organisations that own and manage buildings, schools and public and private dwellings, who are committed to lowering and making more sustainable their energy use. The development of this broad spectrum of energy related applications and the utilisation of next generation gamification techniques, tested in such a wide range of built environments has not been attempted before. The outputs from the project will enable accelerated commercialisation, by a wide range of innovative SMEs, within and outside the project consortium, of the tools that will help building owners and stakeholders to understand and reduce their energy consumption. The demonstration of the results of the FEEdBACK project will be valuable for Technical & Market planning for the EU energy industry. The FEEdBACK’s ambition is to enable a wide range of companies to incorporate or integrate elements of the applications and the behaviour change components, thereby making their products more competitive and successful in the EU and on a global scale. This will contribute significantly to achieving important sustainable energy EU objectives.
The work performed during the project yielded a wide set of outcomes, which are listed below:

1. FEEdBACk suite: FEEdBACk project apps’ Graphic User Interface suite.

2. Energy metering infrastructures: Measuring energy consumption in real-time in more than 240 points: 160 in Porto, 56 in Barcelona and 25 in Lippe.

3. Multi-sensor: Capable of measuring temperature, humidity, luminosity and CO2.

4. User profiling and segmentation.

5. Gamification platform and e-Learning tools.

6. Mobile application: To encourage more efficient energy utilization and more responsible consumer behaviour.

7. Net-load forecasting and baseline apps: Which incorporate PV Forecasting, Load Forecasting and Load Baseline.

8. Occupancy forecasting app: Defines a building’s occupancy for the day ahead.

9. Behaviour predictor app: Identifies opportunities for lowering electricity consumption.

10. Energy manager app: Decision support tool for Facility Managers and Game Masters.

11. Automation manager: Produces optimised schedules to operate controllable loads.

12. Load disaggregation apps: Details electricity consumption in residential and tertiary buildings.

In terms of project management (WP1), several consortium meetings have been regularly held (both in physical meetings and through telcos) to discuss the most relevant issues. Regarding dissemination and communication, the FEEdbACk consortium has done significant work and been successful in promoting the outcomes of the project, featuring several news pieces, publishing scientific papers and being present in the most relevant social media platforms.

Concerning exploitation, the consortium has required the services from the EC on the Exploitation Strategy Seminars (ESS) from the EC. The FEEdBACk consortium also benefited from the Horizon Results Booster (HRB) services in early 2021, where 2 products (e-learning toolkit and load disaggregation apps) were identified as having a high commercialization potential.
In terms of the progress beyond the state of the art, the project achieved very significant results, as proved by the articles published in scientific journals. In summary, the project contributed to advance the current state of the art in the following topics: Occupancy forecasting, Motivational drives and user profiles, Load disaggregation, Behaviour forecasting, Gamification platforms and Net-load forecasting.

The results and impacts of the project were deeply affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The enforced closure of a number of buildings made the baselines unusable and made it impossible to calculate energy savings. Even so, the Consortium made a significant effort to redesign the demonstration activities and achieved the following results and conclusions:

1. Monitoring
The total amount of installed sensors is 89 (30 in Porto, 34 in Barcelona, 25 in Lippe). The number of electricity meters is 241 (160 in Porto, 56 in Barcelona and 25 in Lippe). Additionally, in Barcelona 13 water and gas meters were installed.

2. Behavioural change
The main question we aimed to answer was if the players changed their behaviour due to the ECOplay game and if was this accomplished without a decrease in comfort.The overall results indicate that players’ energy behaviours had improved while their reported comfort levels had remained the same. Players had thus been able to adopt more energy saving behaviour without compromising their comfort levels.

3. Comfort and indoor air quality
The comfort and IAQ did not change significantly before and after the players played the ECOplay game.

4. COVID-19 impacts
We included 5 questions related to COVID-19 and how the closing down of societies on a global scale resulted in dramatic effects on air quality in larger cities. The results indicate that this has indeed been the case and may affect how much value individuals assign to their individual actions.

5. Game and ECOPLAY app evaluation
The post-questionnaire enquired into players’ experiences and opinions about the ECOplay app and the game, including game content which has been used to evaluate the app and game. The section consisted of 14 questions using the 5-point Likert Scale. The total average score for all questions were 76.51% which shows a very good overall evaluation.

6. Outcomes of the focus groups
The focus group participants generally considered themselves to be quite energy aware and especially energy saving aware. Still, several participants agreed that to their surprise they had learnt some new energy consumption and energy saving facts.

7. ECOPLAY app statistical data
The game consists of 14 levels (episodes) and each level takes approximately 15-20 minutes. For the behavioural change analysis, the game was open for 19 weeks. The 25 data subjects included in our sample thus started and completed the game during these 19 weeks.

8. Potential economic impacts
In order to calculate the potential economic impacts caused by the usage of the ECOPlay application, the energy savings have been estimated. Considering the assumptions made, for residential users, the potential savings per household were 151,4€. In tertiary buildings the parameter that best reflects the potential savings is savings per square meter, as tertiary buildings vary greatly in size. For these buildings, annual economic savings were established at 1.6576€/m2.
9 - FEEdBACk solution replication aspects
6 - Multi-sensor
8 - ECOPLAY app evaluation
5 - Energy manager
4 - ECOPLAY mobile app
7 - Potential behaviour change
2 - A look through the project
1 - Set of actions of FEEdBACk
3 - Main outcomes of FEEdBACk