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Skip to 0 minutes and 12 seconds Data itself is not enough. It is necessary to define the reason why we are gathering and processing data. In the context of an energy transition towards a low carbon economy, it is the shift to renewable and flexible energy markets. Since not everybody has the same values, background, interests and priorities, the motivation to provide and/or collect information may vary greatly from one another. Maybe this is the reason behind the fact that Europeans are not willing to spend more than a few minutes per year in understanding their energy bill. Empowering citizens through data makes merging Analytics with Sociology necessary.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 seconds And this is part of the Consumer’s Rights directive recognised by the European Commission in the new set of energy legislation known as “Clean Energy for all Europeans”.

Skip to 1 minute and 11 seconds Smart metering Data Access. First of all, it is necessary to have a neutral access to data in order to avoid any non-competitive advantage of some players against others. It is in the public interest to guarantee that data gathering and releasing are carried out under fair conditions. This is a citizens’ right and is not respected everywhere. Distributed Energy Resources. It’s not only a question of knowing the consumption profile, but also the availability of distributed energy resources and storage. Based on all this raw data, advanced algorithms will provide flexibility to the grid through Energy Aggregators and Local Energy Communities. Data Translation. A normal citizen is not an energy expert.

Skip to 2 minutes and 0 seconds Therefore, it is necessary to translate data into practical information that communicates something useful. There are different strategies, such as contextualization through the comparison with the same period of last year, or benchmarking one’s consumption with other similar citizens.

Skip to 2 minutes and 19 seconds Communication – feedback. There is not a single way to provide feedback to a citizen. Even more, not everybody asks for the same channel. From a printed bill to an interactive mobile application, there are several options to fulfill the user’s needs, including gamification. Otherwise, providing information will not achieve its goal. Call-to-action. Once the feedback reaches the consumer it is necessary to trigger some action, such as a change of behaviour towards a better usage of energy. This provides sense to the informational process. Metrics. The whole process needs to follow a strategy aiming to achieve the stated goal, which must be very well defined. For instance, “reduction of energy consumption during peak hours”.

Skip to 3 minutes and 8 seconds Measuring the results of any campaign will help in improving the user’s experience and to increasingly add value to the citizen. Also, it will create a data-driven virtuous-loop. Credibility. Last, but not least, successful communication is always based on confidence. Who is the right entity to provide the energy efficiency tips to the users in order to achieve a real change in their consumption behaviour? From the traditional utilities company, to self-organized citizens… even public authorities can inform about energy habits and promote better use of energy.

Skip to 3 minutes and 51 seconds From data to information, from information to knowledge, from knowledge to wisdom. Empowering citizens based on consumption and production data is a right recognised by the European Commission. And overall, it is a way to boost active consumers called to develop a core role in the evolution of the energy market. Without data, there is no energy transition.

Empowering citizens

How do we turn data into information? How do we engage citizens with their consumption? How do we make consumers play a core role in the evolution of the energy market? To answer these questions, merging Analytics with Sociology is necessary. Watch the video and tell us: what are, in your opinion, the main barriers preventing citizens to get involved in the energy transition?

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This video is from the free online course:

Smart Grids for Smart Cities: Towards Zero Emissions

EIT InnoEnergy