Breakfast and Bed - Reverse Engineering Triumph

Last week I visited three truly world-class companies who are active in the building services arena. 

I can't reveal names but for fun I aggregated some quick statistics:

Combined turnover was 137 $ Billion

This is what One Billion $ looks like !
imagine 137 of those - it could really wear a hole in your pocket
Combined Employed staff exceeds 408,000 , that's more than the population of Nice in France,
And that's a Nice crowd! 
 or even Tulsa, Oklahoma !
Tulsa - Never been there - but if you're going there's plenty to sing about

So annual turnover per employee is more than 250,000 US  

That sum is rather greater than the modest beer tab I ran up in the fantastic B&B where I stayed near Gatwick Airport
No your eyes do not deceive:  
Yes that is a Lotus Evora parked by the front door !
Click to Enlarge
So, to the boring part of the blog...(c'mon you can handle it) 

What does a Lotus Evora, the worlds Greatest Engineering Companies, a Great Bed and Breakfast and Me have in common ?

To answer I will be criticising the B&B (a little), but not before adding; fantastic food (The Whitebait was really spectacular), really friendly staff and a 24hr service to Gatwick and local rail stations and sensible prices.

The title of this post was "Breakfast and Bed - Reverse Engineering Triumph".  I will explain this but first let me point out that most (over 90%) of big buildings have exactly the same problem as this small B&B has in some form or another.  So to the explanation.

It looked rather like this
As I sat having my Full English Breakfast, I realised that I knew what the heating pipework system must look like (is it just me or does that sort of thing happen to you too ?). 

So this is where the reverse engineering comes in...

The normal approaches to energy waste

You see we commonly look at energy consumption, and tell people what they have wrong in their buildings by recognising patterns (usually working with VERY large engineering companies on behalf of their clients), we then explain the comfort and cost implications.

We also often look at what buildings have wrong and back this up with engineering theory, show the energy waste, and explain the comfort implications.

On this occasion I found myself doing the very opposite.

So this is the normal story (many of you reading this will have heard this brief story and seen the accompanying graphs from me before but the interesting part is that the engineering is reversible)

First - We show a graph where heating energy consumption is systematically higher in Spring than Autumn despite similar weather conditions (below is a pub showing 23% waste caused by making clients uncomfortable)

Pale Blue bounds different monthly average consumption (vertical) at the same average monthly temperatures (horizontal)

Then - we explain this in the context of a pub (where in the UK the economic crisis has been forcing may to close).

"As Autumn closes in temperatures fall (pun;) and clients get cold. So landlords turns up thermostats. In spring clients get hot so they open windows and leave doors open - Voila - waste as a response to discomfort. Later an observant client says `hey the doors open but the heating's on' and things return to normal (happens at around 12.5C on graph above)"

We finally conclude - Obviously this is silly ! From personal experience I have seen in in pubs, restaurants, hotels, office blocks, prisons, factories, schools (need I go on).  BUT I have never reversed engineered it !

The solution is simple - correct compensation previous post, but this is what happened to me last week and it's rather different...
I arrived on a pretty horrid delayed flight out of Basel, was picked up at the airport, and five minutes later chatted happily as I registered. I was taken to a smallish, but clean room and closed the door behind me.  I then stopped breathing !...
It was so hot I ran to the window to open it.  I then isolated the radiator in the bedroom and the one in the en-suite bathroom. But still it stayed hot.  I went and ate, and (after some beers while tidying a presentation for the next day, I returned to my room) - It was still too hot. so I slept with the window open in March in the UK ! 
The next morning I showered, went to breakfast and realised that despite TRVs (thermostats on radiators that respond to hot rooms), the entire heating system was overly hot - there was no direct compensation to weather (this is common in Europe with Germany, Scandinavia and Switzerland providing notable exceptions).
So I also knew that there was no bypass loop (to prevent unwanted hot water flowing round the whole hotel and to trigger early shut-down of the boiler) and therefore no valve mechanism to drive it.  
Given that sometimes I can't help myself, I mentioned this to the owner over breakfast (delightful chap - nice car) who proudly showed me his new heating system  
But who then confirmed that on warm mornings he tells cleaning staff to shut valves on radiators and on cold mornings he tells them the opposite!

The fundamental control system is the discomfort of guests, who regulate the rate of waste to match personal preferences !

There is a very easy fix for this hotel, and I will be returning (it is so good), so in a few weeks I hope to take a photo of the system and will provide a bit of "free advice" which if the owner is happy I will publish here.

A quick primer on direct compensation the idea behind the fix is here - but now (after my reverse engineering breakfast) I know from personal experience that the advice we have been giving is spot on !!!

Finally - What relates great engineering companies, the operator of this B&B, and the full English breakfast to a Lotus Evora ?

"A demand for excellence, coupled with determination to deliver and improve !"
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The conversational smart-meter

Automatic meter readings tie consumption to a time-stamp in a data base.

Since logged readings answer - " How much energy was used at time X ? ", 

this really cannot be considered smart (even if it does involve a pretty chart).

So what is considered smart ?

Useful services can "wrap around" energy data to begin to appear "smart". So here is a scale of increasing "smartness"

Services may;
provide a stream of interpretation or a display
-  but this can easily be listened to or ignored so call this "smart",

slightly better they may;
react conditionally to thresholds
- less likely to be ignored, but not very good without user context
 so call this "smarter",
better yet they might allow;
a user to define their context and then answer appropriately to that context
so call this "smartest", This starts to addresses the audience question of my previous post
Note : way beyond "smartest" there is also kWIQly  - but that isn't the point of this post!

An example to illustrate might be helpful (the first level is rather obvious but the others may not be):

Illustrations; Fairly dumb smart, smarter, smartest:

1) smart - a stream of data displayed...

Have you ever noticed when a clock stops ticking ?

Humans have highly developed skills to "tune-out" noise, even from their own children. 

Is this a stream of fascinating insights ? 

or perhaps it is a gripping read ?
We know anything "always on" but not threatening or vital - is soon ignored
(isn't exactly that the cause of much energy waste)

For example - do you have anything held to your fridge with a magnet ? 

If so think back to the last time you noticed what it says ?

Easy to ignore ?

"To be effective a smart-meter needs to be more compelling than a screaming kid"

Yes, perhaps that is "a big ask" but it is also a reasonable objective - so let's look again to see if this passes...

This just "screams" energy waste doesn't it !

2) smarter - interactively addressing specific questions

Now imagine a smart-meter where you can set thresholds and above the threshold an alert is sent (to a designated listener !). 

There are several SaaS companies that let you do this. However, if your use case is even remotely complex (you use more gas in winter for heating), it needs to be maintained (whether by you or the service) or it becomes worse than useless - You have configured something designed to interrupt - but it interrupts at the wrong time! 

There are also some simple ways around this (eg tracking recent mean deviations and volatility) but unless you have a good underlying model (understanding what constitutes a valid alert you will end up with a version of the boy that cried wolf - as in Aesop's fable

English: The illustration by Francis Barlow of...

English: The illustration by Francis Barlow of the fable "The Boy who Cried Wolf", 
called by him DE PASTORIS PUERO ET AGRICOLIS, 1687 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is obviously a way of inspiring great music - but not so good for a smart meter.

By the way - why not do yourself a favour - 

watch this video with your children this evening 

(bookmark it if you want)

 Warning: frightening for the very young
They will love you all the more (your time inspires their growth) - it delivers a simple cool morality message - they will learn of marvellously inspiring classical music that really talks to the story and 
you can enjoy the superb animation !
Something for everyone, - as they say in US of A land : "What's not to like ? !"

    By the way if you love it - please share it !

As I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself...

"- interrupting yourself is not always a good idea from a smart-meter"

So we move on to what we can consider the smartest - 

3) Smartest - "a user can define their context and the "smart-meter" can answer questions appropriately to that context"

When looking at smart functionality it is important to isolate different aspects of "smart".  For example the interface presented to the user may be elegant, snappy and easy to use, or ugly, slow and a nightmare (I won't show any examples here).

It might be equally be text based, numeric, iconic or graphic, but presentation issues do not determine the "smartness" of the capability. (Though the user experience or "UX" as it is known is unquestionably an extremely aspect of any product or service that aspires to frequent use).

So we do not "care" (for the purpose of this conversation) how information is represented or conveyed, we care about the underlying "intelligence". Ie what work the smart-meter can do that is "smart".  This is like saying when we choose a doctor we are more concerned by his or her training and experience than their social standing, looks, golf handicap or bedside manner (even though these may help doctors market themselves).

The most famous determination of the quality of artificial intelligence is the Turing Test from wikipedia

"The Turing test is a test of a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human. In the original illustrative example, a human judge engages in natural language conversations with a human and a machine designed to generate performance indistinguishable from that of a human being."

So we might consider the "conversations" that a smart-meter could have with the user, and judge whether these convincing or not. If they are - it is smart.  

Note: kWIQly while can deliver one side of this conversation - as a pre-requisite - solutions are built on top. We also do not claim to have invented any intelligence here - merely an artificial simulation in a limited area that is constrained to asking and answering very stylized questions

I want you to imagine yourself as "user" in the following dialogue.  This starts to represent what is now possible for the smartest of smart meters.  The user represented (that is you) is assumed to be pretty well versed in energy management - it would be possible to repeat this for a much more lay-user ("who only just gets a thermostat")

User: "Please note that the following days are school holidays:"
List of holidays goes here (and is applied to all the meters in the school district)

Smart-Meter(s): "Got it"

User: "During weekends the school is closed, during holidays unless flagged the school is closed, during school-days occupancy is from 08:00 to 16:45"

Smart-Meter(s): "Got it"

User: "Gas use relates to cooking, heating and domestic hot water, comfort heating is required during occupancy and to protect fabric in school holidays under extreme weather conditions, but not at weekends"

Smart-Meter(s): "Got it" - 

Note this was all setting context and was like data entry - now it gets interesting

User: "Which school has the most individual days of holiday where consumption is more consistent with school days than holidays?"

Smart-Meter from one school : "Check this out;

User: "OK - So on days when  temperatures are in the range seen last week - 

at what time of day is most energy wasted (please band the answer by level of waste) across all schools ?"

Smart-Meters ; "You mean something like this;"

"On the most wasteful days most energy is wasted before opening"

User: "OK - I see that if the boiler capacity was lower less waste would even be possible - so how big does the heating capacity have to be for the fist school you picked out school to ensure warmth in temperatures as low as X:

Smart-meter: "Easy - that would be around 45 kW, but would require a working optimum start algorithm to bring heating on earlier on really cold days"

Closing note from kWIQly ; The above transactions are possible, but to make it readable we did style the conversation to make it "human-like"- So our client implementations typically support standardized enquiries which are triggered by button clicks etc. rather than a typed interface

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A smart-meter, smart enough to listen to

Recently I blogged "What would a smart-ER meter say?" - concluding;
So if we were to: 
  1. list smart-meter capabilities against a list of legitimate audiences,
  2. gag them ruthlessly when they are not interesting or not welcome,  
  3. apply expertise where needed,  
  4. inform those who have a need to know and who have an ability to act,
  5. in a language they understand,
  6. when they want to hear it !
- wouldn't that be nice ? !
and that's my subject for today. However, while I fully intend to comment, perhaps our start point would be the answer to a "smart -er meter" question:

"What do I want from my smart meter ?"

and obviously this depends on who you are - i.e. the audience

Equally it depends on the options - ie "What can a smart meter do ?" 

But I am assuming that we all have an idea of these points (even though definitions of smart meters change around the world and amongst different user groups). So for the purpose of this post I will adopt a very broad definition - 

Broad Smart-Meter Definition: 
"An ability to gather relatively high resolution energy data, process and make results accessible via some means, while it is of relevance to some interested party"
You will notice that this definition includes pretty much any remote Automatic Meter Reading functionality (and does not require an in-property display device !!!)

So back to the post - it's worth considering three aspects of any message, the audience, the intent and how the message is to be "consumed". 

(smart-meters need to convey something useful to someone who cares or they are simply destined to be expensive paper-weights)

A very expensive paper weight.
unnecessarily heavy IMHO - but then
I'm interested in the functionality - not the show
Getting these straightened up allows us to think about designing the communication.

So to the audience - perhaps we need to first address "non-core users"

Smart meter advocate ? - Probably not so much !
Various factions in the world of smart-meter paranoia, (some literally in the tin-foil hat brigade), posit outrageous theories about smart meter technologies. 

Much as I will fight for their right to be utterly bonkers to my last breathe, I also won't spend too long dwelling on how best to get my message to them.  

Classify these as:  "long-tail late-adopters" for the technology I believe in.

Politely put - "They can't be allowed to matter !"

The real intent behind Smart-Meters

If we put aside the notion that smart-meters are guidance beacons for aliens, or similar, and go mainstream, then we see three fundamental benefits that are derivable from a data history of energy consumption, and these are sufficient to define our audiences.

1) Accounting for value transfer

Whether a meter reports a fiscal transaction or not, energy has moved. If the energy is of value to the supplier, or to the recipient (not always the case) then we can think of this as an accounting transaction. A financial credit and an equal and opposite debit.

This leads us to use cases that include:
- bill verification (I've said this before, but how many industries can you think of where you have to routinely pay to check billing ? !!!)
- tariff analysis (in competitive markets, standardize data formats would allow utilities to bid competitively and automatically for supply contracts through a clearing market - surely this would be more efficient than giving clients the buying analysis responsibility)  
- purchasing support (typically larger users)
- cost attribution (particularly sub-metering)
- financial planning (generally this is very naive)

These "intents" can be associated with "audiences" in accounting and purchasing functions. Data can be historic and patterns of interest are relatively trivial (base load, peak use and so on), and are often determined by the market conditions offered by utility suppliers and buying clubs.

Although higher resolution meter-readings are changing demand pricing which makes for more efficient markets and provides incentives for demand control, there is little new here - people have always had to pay for products they consume.

2) Energy Efficiency & Improving Effectiveness

This is where the smart-meter needs to become smart !
This will be the specific subject of my next post and is the greatest core-value of Smart-metering and AMR in my view (do signup on the RSS feed if you want to catch it when it comes).

Just as a smart meter needs to be timely, concise and on point - I will try to do the same :)

3) Enabling Peer Co-operation Between Users 

This is where controls need to become smart and it closes the smart-meter feedback loop!

There is huge scope to do this using within single buildings or sites (eg scheduling loads so the aggregate is spread to avoid expensive low efficiency demand peaks) or in the case of boilers ensuring loads synchronise so that a firing boiler works hard and serves most purpose.  

To do this involves exposing not only demand signals (I need heat / I don't need heat) but also forecast loads (From  an AHU perhaps - "I am OK for heat because can recirculate until outside temperature drops below X") .  This level of sophistication implies a market for heat (or chilling) in a  building - and since heat and chill are supplied in various quantity to various functions at various cost - a market solution is needed (both within the single site and at a smart grid level)

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What would a smart - ER - meter say ?

We can think of smart-meters as idiotic Twitter users who send out status updates whenever they get on a bus, arrive at school etc, 
i.e. all the time and to anyone who will listen

Tweet :  Sat, 14th March 2014 12:30 @gas_meter consumed 20.4 kWh

Tweet :  Sat, 14th March 2014 13:00 @gas_meter consumed 18.4 kWh
Tweet :  Sat, 14th March 2014 13:30 @gas_meter consumed 44.6 kWh
Tweet :  Sat, 14th March 2014 14:00 @gas_meter consumed 20.9 kWh
and so on for ever and ever ad nauseam,
-    Honestly it's not that smart and it looks more like data than information

So data that updates in real time - "How cool is that" ?

Have you ever tried watching a clock ? (<--------------Hint: sarcasm)

-    to be fair it might be marginally more interesting than watching paint dry (for a few minutes), but it is is hardly more informative.

Lets remember that hoping a smart meter will save you energy by observing its very existence is like thinking you will lose weight if you stand on a pair of bathroom scales for long enough ! 

"but won't make you lose weight !"
 So maybe smart meters should even call us to gain our attention at certain times, 
More of what you expect is less of what informs
 -    the maelstrom cacophony would overwhelm us in delivering;

"An irritating, continual source of noise"
Now imagine if they had lots of smart meters to listen to ! 

 while the answer remains in our power to define - and while we can simply strikeout all but the most foolish of objections:

Very Silly - Objections !

Perhaps what we should first be asking is:
"If we let a smart meter talk - how much should it say ? - when to speak, and when to be silent, what to say, why, how often and to whom ?"
The answers should obviously depend on who is listening, (and that they have a right to) on how much time they have and most importantly why they might care and whether they can do anything useful in response anyway !

"Otherwise it will be ignored."
Simply put, if a smart-meter is set up to be ignored it may as well sit in the "Dunce's Corner" right next to the Climate Change Denial Theorist...

The Climate Change Denying Dunce
So if we were to: 
  1. list smart meter capabilities against a list of legitimate audiences,
  2. gag them ruthlessly when they are not interesting or not welcome,  
  3. apply expertise where needed,  
  4. inform those who have a need to know and who have an ability to act,
  5. in a language they understand
  6. when they want to hear it !
- then just perhaps,
we would start to find sense from the "sea of data" that is supposedly there to help but that threatens to overwhelm us.
and wouldn't that be nice ! 
Update : Follow up post - A smart meter smart enough to listen

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Smart-meter enabled innovation non-domestic - Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust recently contacted us (and a number of other key companies) with the following
 "DECC has asked the Carbon Trust to understand, and report on, what innovations in technology, products and services we can expect to 2020 based on the roll out of smart meters for non-domestic customers.
DECC recommended speaking to you. We intend to interview technology developers, energy service providers, utilities and other stakeholders to understand their (not commercially sensitive) views and then hold a workshop with all stakeholders to problem-solve the question."
So after about a millisecond feeling slightly complimented we agreed to interview and attend the workshop last Friday. Why? - Well to be honest there were three reasons, two good, one questionable - so let me get the questionable one out the way, and then I will go on to the more interesting things ...

Note shift arrow third button down on left
  1. The Carbon Trust has a remarkable coffee machine with a shift key - Really - I kid you not - it modifies your selection and presumably reduces the number of buttons required. This saving comes at the cost of massive user confusion and huge amounts of wasted coffee / energy / carbon - ( to be fair the coffee was pretty good, but an escape or or cntrl-alt-del combination would have been more constructive) 
  2. Networking with UK government (DECC), the official regulator (ofgem) and The Carbon Trust and the bre can only be a good thing, especially when it comes to input on legislation and statutory instruments (Disclosure: Our UK subsidiary has worked with BRE and ofgem on CERT compliance on a commercial basis in the past)
  3. Networking with other attendees, This included representation from energy brokers, energy buying clubs, data consolidators, national utilities, and a small number of specialised consultants in the sustainable / smart field
So I thought, it might be useful to knock together these informal notes. 

There will be a formal feedback to the UK government, and the meeting was held under Chatham house rule so I will not name the commercial attendees (other attendees are a matter of public record). 

I do feel a few significant companies were notable by their absence (hint: buck your ideas up - you know who you are).

The agenda was deliberately loose (more brainstorming than directed) and as often happens several themes kept on re-emerging. So this is a personal, rough (and certainly not exhaustive) recollection of various issues that stuck in my mind - I hope its useful and I would love to hear any views in the comments - perhaps I missed some key things while dwelling on the shift key! :

The title of the workshop was:

Smart-meter enabled innovation for non-domestic customers
This immediately lead into a discussion of scope:

Most non-domestic customers need AMR (automatic meter reading) rather than smart meters (a local display device for readings). Yes, this comes up again and again, and saying "smart" does not make you smart (except in the stinging burning embarrassment sense).

The trouble is with a smart meter, thatwith despite nonsense to the contrary, seeing a consumption dial no more helps you save energy than standing on bathroom scales helps you lose weight.

So the value comes from action engendered by information, not by the existence of a soon ignored omnipresent (and very boring display) of energy data. In discussions with Steven Fawkes (whose blogs Only Eleven Percent is worth a read) earlier in the week I remember discussing "Mean Time to Kitchen Draw" - a fun metric that measure the Billions wasted worldwide on installing things that people soon learn to ignore.

It was agreed that the workshop should distinguish bottom-up, from top-down. The former is the application of household and domestic considerations to the small business market, where the latter is the application of large skill based diagnosis techniques (which apply to some much larger buildings) to the volume market. The vast gap of an un-served market between the two went unquestioned. (Hence, I suppose, the workshop).

The other aspect of scope was regarding purpose - is the purpose of high resolution metering:

  1. To allow purchase of cheaper energy in the market
  2. To enable energy savings

It is worth noting that a more efficient energy market reduces carbon burden, reduces energy security issues (which cause wars - a huge waste of energy), and that energy poverty is very real and meaningful for numerous families and small businesses (not just in the UK.

However, my vote would be for a focus on reduction in demand (perhaps because I have spent most of my career witnessing and diagnosing the ridiculous waste prevalent in society (energy spend that does not even deliver value).
This second priority lead on very nicely to the first agenda point about:

Competition and Switching

  1. Most people will not even bother to switch energy supplier until a threshold of around £75 per annum potential cash benefit is exceeded. This suggests to me that: 
  2. switching requires automation (vastly reduced friction)
  3. market is already relatively efficient (far greater savings can be had from efficiency improvements)
  4. the issues of perpetuating data histories in common formats over a supplier transition are very relevant (this effects both buying and analysis)
  5. There was huge skepticism from the group that the major players can ever be forced to align to common data-interchange formats (both for meter data and account meta-data)
    1. The smaller embedded smart meters store a history (too short for ideal analysis)
    2. AMR services don't make it easy to improve market efficiency - there is major disincentive to ease switching in the market. (I think there is scope for legislation here, but it had better be well considered and not the US green button initiative style half-cocked exercise although this is none-the-less better than nothing !)
Engagement and Energy Efficiency

Whether it is a counsel of despair or not - people don't care enough about energy efficiency, to take personal action. This was unanimously agreed. I would express the problem like this :
Like it or not energy is absurdly cheap - 100 years ago to harness 100 horses and work them for an hour required the riches reserved for royalty - hay needed to be gathered, livery made, and the capital asset cost far exceeded the cost of a family compact car. Now everyone can do this with a couple of litres of fuel, so we are collectively enabled to poison our planet and climate - and hey nobody really cares !

 After thisour discussion wove backwards and forwards around many themes but gradually moved on to:

"Cheap energy club" type services

The key issues here were automation, buyer friction and engagement, and the need to move from buying (which in a commodity market is and should be a race to the bottom with ever declining margins), which is a necessity for an efficient market to overcome oligopoly forces (nobody actually used the word cartel ! )
Other agenda points covered were:

Visualisation and “remote control" & Optimisation were the overwhelming consensus was (correctly) that:

  • visualising an energy spend is very far from saving energy and not sufficient to either inform or motivate action
  • remote control is trivial - there is space for "apps" and connectivity and they will happen, but the business models in this field are extremely naive (the motive to save energy is a pre-requisite to capital investment, and there are better ways of saving energy first) - the problem is determining the action to take
  • nobody came up with a definition of optimisation in this context (it was perhaps aspirational from the briefing - but bottom up optimisations for households are very different from SME in terms of occupancy, fabric, plant, use cases etc - so we moved on)
A brief and pleasant buffet sandwich lunch was provided and we moved on to 

Innovation that “stretches down” from Industry and commerce

Three issues were discussed that (apart from understanding that analysis has a role) are well outside my expert domain - (so I wont comment) - these were
  • Time-of-use and complex tariffs, 
  • Brokers/Third Party Intermediaries, 
  • Load aggregation & virtual power plants

We then moved on to the following areas which are all very closely related, and where I suppose my personal input was of some value. Grouping these together the following key points were made and I believe largely agreed (but I am so sure of my ground in this area that I may not have heard objections ! ;)
Demand Management

Managing is simple. but there are very complex pre-requisites. Energy relates to activity, and activities are

  1. either, waste or not
  2. Conducted (if at all) either effectively, using best resources, or not
Sub-metering & device disaggregation

These are two areas where data is either gathered directly or imputed. The huge potential waste of metering more than can be managed is one major issue - The internet of things is as yet young. The other is whether loads can be identified through pattern recognition (bear in mind that a smart phone with a gyroscope and accelerometer can tell from your gait, your height, your weight and your health)

Remote building performance diagnostics

No surprises here - According to a new Navigant report nicely summarised here 800M will be installed by 2020 and "Between 2012 and 2020 Europe shows the fastest electric smart meter penetration, growing from 15% to 85%."

It is clear that the entire purpose of this vast new industry boils down to one critical question - "What is it for?

Any reader of this blog will have an idea that is is NOT to draw pictures that no-one can understand or act on but that:

  1. It makes automated quantification of waste possible
  2. It allows cause of waste to be diagnosed
  3. Pattern recognition allows this to be done at scale
  4. Diagnosis is a pre-cursor to treatment
In turn, treatment may be :

  • Behavioural advice (pertinent, actionable, on-time)
  • Control parameter change (typically actionable remotely)
  • Control algorithm change (increasingly modifiable without site visits)
  • Hardware maintenance (it is too costly to send the wrong people to do the wrong job)
  • Plant refurbishment (where better decisions can be informed by knowledge of demand histories)

Beyond the current capabilities of pattern recognition - In which case the appropriate expertise should be sent to site:

My conclusions

Overall "Smart-meter enabled innovation for non-domestic customers" is important:

The value is simple, if we can understand and act on energy-efficiency problems at scale for low costs, and if we can regulate demand to service our needs effectively we can live in a semblance of the current luxury we have come to expect - If we do not we cannot !

Please do leave comments below - I will respond and try to incorporate those with merit in future work.

Update : bre have requested that I link to their energy consulting site
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