R&D Project

Improving the efficiency of energy consumption

In the coming two years an EUDP demonstration project will follow the roll-out of smart meters to private consumers in a suburb of Aarhus and public buildings in Randers. The project will shed new light on how the visualization of heat and electricity consumption can affect behaviour at end-user level.

Denmark is moving towards a complete overhaul of the energy system, where renewable energy creates new requirements for production, distribution and consumption. This means that over the next 15-20 years the Danish end-user needs to think about energy consumption in new ways. Specifically, how and when energy is consumed becomes important as the amount of power produced from renewable energy sources like wind and solar is highly variable. It is a complex transformation process to change human behaviour and habits, and there’s no key answer.

The project purpose The Danish Technological Institute, Kamstrup, AffaldVarme Aarhus and Randers Municipality have come together in this project to uncover how data from remotely read meters in private homes and public buildings can be used to influence energy consumption and behaviour over time. Kamstrup has developed the visualization system called eButler to collect and visualize data from all kinds of energy usage and to facilitate intelligent home control.

Project – Part 1: family homes
The project follows the roll-out of smart district heating meters in around 1400 households including an extended analysis of 30 households. These households are equipped with data collectors from Develco Products gathering the electrical usage to provide access to both electricity and heat consumption in the same visualization. The consumer response to the direct feedback is analysed through anthropological studies in conjunction with quantitative measurements of actual consumption and behaviour in eButler through the 2-year project period.

AffaldVarme Aarhus is one of the first district heating companies in Denmark to install smart district heating meters in private homes. Expectations are high that insights gained from analysing the massive volumes of collected consumption data will benefit optimization and streamlining of processes and procedures in AffaldVarme Aarhus and that to exploit this potential will require better knowledge about end-user behaviour.

Project – Part 2: public buildings

The project makes a comprehensive analysis of public buildings and institutions in Randers Municipality. This part of the study is expected to start in early 2014, and includes both anthropological studies and quantitative measurements of consumption using eButler.

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