What kWIQly can bring to SEDC

kWIQly are proud to have been invited toward the end of last year to become associate members of SEDC (The Smart Energy Demand Coalition) and it's a thrill to see our logo alongside a few of the bigger industry players 
(and some competitors :)

(there we are middle row slightly left of centre)
However, to assert that we were invited "because of our obvious value" would be in danger of begging the question, as we must show our value and explain it to the world at large.  

So I was invited to write a brief introduction to explain why we belong in SEDC for the membership newsletter, (if you read that before coming here, please bear with me as I offer hospitality; as promised to Roland). but before I go on, let me reach out to non-members:
If you feel you may be relevant to SEDC do drop us a line or call +44 (0)1825 712800  and we will be pleased to introduce you,  
or, if you prefer direct contact, then or call +32 (0) 48 91 87 650 
SEDC is relevant to us all (3 months after their launch April 2011, they had over 40 members representing over 150 million European consumers), and as I mentioned in my Engerati video at #EUW "Demand Response" or demand side energy management involvement in energy markets is becoming very real.

Since kWIQly is better known for dealing with energy management and automated interpretation of energy meter data and helping clients run more efficiently, 

Why kWIQly & Smart Energy Demand Coalition?

Demand response is about being less efficient !!!

Perhaps I had better explain that...
An energy manager (good or bad) has had the long term mission to achieve things that need to be done efficiently. That means providing energy resources (heat, work, cooling and lighting) when they are needed.   
To be efficient involves buying these "Just-In-Time" as any process of storing energy necessarily carries an efficiency burden. So, if "smart demand" suggests doing away with efficient practice there is an on-site cost and risk implication.
It seems we need to square a circle. How do we equate smart and inefficient.
It is relatively easy when you consider that upstream in the grid other engineers are seeking to be efficient and to avoid storage losses of energy. Consider this:

When everyone switches on their kettle at once upstream engineers have to push the limits (and are less efficient). Equally if load is very low, because of a spike in solar and wind input to the grid, control systems respond.

Consider a steam turbine driving a generator that is facing reduced load.  It spins more freely (as it has less work to do).  This means the steam that passes through comes out hotter, at higher pressure (or less steam is raised).  Cooling towers work harder (reducing efficiency) and burners are modulated back.  The power station losses are greater relative to the generation.  In essence whenever we suddenly save energy, someone else wastes it (until balance is restored).

So demand response is about sharing transitory inefficiencies in a vertical distribution chain and is generally to be achieved through market pricing mechanisms.

This is where kWIQly comes in. If you (as an energy manager) want to "play the game" of being less efficient to take advantage of market conditions (and thus serve the world, yourself and your shareholders) you had best understand your opportunity costs well:

A simple demand response scenario
Imagine a chiller compressor running at 80% load, just before peak market demand and expecting rises in ambient temperature.   
By running the extra 20% now (less efficiently) you make the market more efficient (both now and later), you increase your service resilience (you have some cold stored), you run at lower cost, and you run more efficiently (because it is easier to dump heat into colder ambient air). 
 On the other side of the coin - It may not get hotter, (across the entire market) so load may be lower, you cannot store cold water without taking on heat (efficiency is time related), and what is spent now will never be unspent!
Our suspicion at kWIQly is that most energy managers have not thought this way, and will need generic optimised solutions (except in the largest cases) packaged for them (and perhaps embedded in product solutions).  If we are right we have a role to play, because as engineers from the demand side - who have crossed the divide to the supply side by looking at automating diagnosis based on metering and pattern recognition, we can help.

Beyond that claim, I have been asked to sit in on the SEDC Policy Group and I am less sure how well I can contribute there - but time-will-tell and perhaps simply through meeting new colleagues, we can together help find a way to serve the industry and environment together - I hope so.

If you want to understand a little more of the big picture of the sort of things kWIQly does - there are some not bad places to start below.

As always - if you wish to contact kWIQly we would be delighted - contact details above.

Finally, if you want to Tweet, share, link-to or disagree with or comment on this article to blow the SEDC trumpet a bit - we all win !

Red Pill or Blue Pill?

Today we will see what taking the red pill might look like from an energy management perspective...

This is your last chance.  After this, there is no turning back.

You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.

You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Remember: all I'm offering is the truth. 

Nothing more.

Morpheus to Neo, The Matrix

When energy managers make tough choices it often revolves around what they know about and what they must learn.

A metaphor of knowing about an "Inconvenient Truth" and acting on energy waste fits reality well. 

So presented with a means to know much more (and add to responsibilities thereby) we can imagine a Neophyte energy manager finding him or herself in a very different world than before they take the pill, bite the bullet, take the plunge or even eat from the Tree of Knowledge.

Imagine two of them side-by-side, each works for a retailer

(yes the data below is real but made anonymous and from two of the top ten UK retailers - by turnover).

They pop their pills, open their eyes (for the first time) and this is what they see: 

(One chart above the other to fit the page)

Each coloured speck represents the record of gas consumption for a supermarket somewhere in the UK.  Small blue specks that are densely clustered are normal and benign. 

BIG RED PILLS are not!

Both energy managers have a few problems to sort out, and because they know how much they are wasting (based on seasonally adjusted precedent) on the y axis, and whether their gas consumption correlates to coldness (for heating) bottom axis (left = heating , right = cooling). They immediately know that some stores are behaving "purposefully", and some "consistently".  

So this is the question - Would you want to know which colour your sites are ?

The trouble with information and yes it works for pub chains and utility companies, and schools and coffee shops is that it presents a choice.

Once it is out in the open, there is no putting it back in the box (Pandoras?) -
You can be accountable, or your sites can be held to account and you can either make things better or twiddle your thumbs.

So which will it be :


Please feel free to get in touch if you want some advice 

+44(0) 1825 712800 or email 

Active Demand / Demand response in short ; "buy now to beat the rush"

Hi - Very brief update

I am off to Rome later this week to a briefing by (Nov 2014)

at Enel Head Offices, who describe their mission as follows:

Leveraging on the empirical data and lessons learnt in real Active Demand (AD) experiences, the overall objective of the 24 months project is to develop actionable frameworks enabling residential, commercial and industrial consumers to participate in AD.
Furthermore, the benefits of AD for the key stakeholders and the inherent impacts on the electricity systems considering its potential contribution to system stability and efficiency are to be quantified taking different scenarios into account.
This will be achieved through comparing the different AD solutions applied in Europe and enhancing them by the investigation of socio-economic and behavioural factors with direct involvement of real consumers.
On this basis, key success factors of AD and recommendations for the future design of AD programmes will be derived.
Equilibrium price under demand inelastaic and ...
Equilibrium price under demand inelastaic and elastic demand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In short it is about buying when demand is low for later usage - it helps the grid, the utilities, the clients (lower prices) and it helps the planet because it allows more efficient generating resources to be applied.

The notion is all about the micro-economics of the market:

I'm looking forward to conversations with some of the interesting attendees, both guests and from amongst the partner organisations:

  • Enel Distribuzione
  • Comillas
  • Entelios
  • ERDF
  • FEEM
  • Iberdrola
  • RWE
  • TNO
  • TNS
  • VaasaETT

  • So if you happen to be in Rome this week and want to talk about Active Damand / Demand Response and/or how kWIQly can uncover load rescheduling opportunities from energy data (whether attending or not) do drop me a line to james @ and we will see if we can catch up.

    Best James

    The easy way to accept Bitcoin micropayments on your blogger account

    I was at AVC today (a great entrepreneurs blog) and read this about a new way of exchanging funds legally and securely at VERY low overhead.

    The Concept of Bitcoin Micro-payments 
    The bitcoin tipping button by Coinbase

    This "tip button" allows you take micro donations in Bitcoin if people appreciate your posts. (You will see I have already "harvested" 550 bits at the time of writing).

    So pressing on the Bitcoin "Tip"  as shown ( top right of my blog ) will donate an small amount of Bitcoins to me. 

    It is only set to "300" bits or 0.0003 bitcoins by default and at the time of writing that's about 10 cents US as a "bit" is 1 millionth of a Bitcoin

    This all supposes the reader/donor has an account set up to pay bitcoins, because they are very secure - you cant give what you haven't got. (If not is a good place to get informed)
    Note: Neither kWIQly nor I have any commercial interest in coinbase (other than curiosity)

    This can be used to fund pretty much any product or service (but keep it clean - it is your choice how you spend your life). But as an "early adopter" - I thought this would be useful to lots of potential bloggers, musicians etc (so I thought I would help spread the word - It could also be a way of driving down global transaction payments so for example more of charitable spend can be applied to the cause).

    How to put it on your site :

    Visit - it really explains everything you need to know.

    For me (my blog sits on the blogger platform is hosted elsewhere) this meant:

    1) opening up my browser at (logged into my account) and clicking 

    2) Selecting defaults in my case (and when logged in) and then copying the javascript (below)

    3) Going to my blog layout editor (this for blogger) YMMV and  selecting layout (below in orange)

     4) Select add a HTML/Javascript widget

    Pasting the script in the box and job done -  

    Then all you do is save the changes and watch the money mount up. 

     (To be honest this is an experiment for me and if the box top right never again changes I wont mind (and thanks to the coinbase team for donating my first receipt !)

    Related articles

    Engerati Interviews kWIQly at European Utility Week

    Adam Malik of Engerati interviews kWIQly at European Utility Week

    This 10 minute video does a great job (Thanks Adam ! ) of covering the stamping ground where kWIQly works in laymans terms.

    The chat ranges from Energy Management to Demand Response  (which was definitely flavour of the week at the show, but which must carefully distinguish shifting waste from eliminating waste - both have a role to play),  from the problems of utilities finding candidates who can switch off chillers, to the pub owner who has left his heating on while the drinkers are propping the door open, through hospitals who have their time-clocks 12 hours out of sync !

    We had a great series of meetings at the show - and will be there again next year.  After shouting out a special thanks to @Engerati and Stuart Neumman @Verdantix for his kind words (and fascinating viewpoints), its worth mentioning a few companies we spoke to who are up to some really interesting things in the fields of Grid Optimisation & Resilience, Demand Response, Metering and Meter Asset Management and moving into the energy management analytic's sphere where we work - They are (alphabetically - no particular order)


    With a special mention to from Italy who had a very cool demo of virtual viewers for looking down meter holes to see connections and plate data, and a really cool pattern recognition drone solution (in the field in South America where regulation is a little freer) for first responders to gas and water leak which integrates with their GEOCALL solution.  I should mention extensively enjoying their local artisanal products (Parma Ham, Parmesan and Bubbly - What's not to like ? :) 

    We were also interested to talk to a number of companies who have energy analytics platforms but who focus more on behaviours and customer engagement than we do.  A brief list must include (again alphabetically) and don't be surprised to see products partnerships appear on these platforms in this still new and fast growing industry.

    Oh - and finally we are off to see Enoro AG next week who have an office just down the road in Zurich and are using some of the same great technologies we use, but who really help Grid Operators see data more effectively

    For me the highlight of the week was to have our team together doing business and feel that the industry is rapidly waking up to opportunity.  The watchwords of the week were Demand Response, Grid Analytics, Energy Analytic Platform Solutions.  See you next year !