BENEFFICE system description

BENEFFICE system provides accurate measurement and monitoring of the residential energy consumption and incentivises energy efficient behavior to residential consumers with €O2s. It exploits non-intrusive load monitoring and disaggregation algorithms, green energy scheduling, personalised recommendations/ challenges and the use of an alternative €O2 currency.

The residential consumers procure a set of devices that are easy to install in their residences, connect and communicate with. The measurements are retrieved through a local gateway device and stored to the BENEFFICE platform backend. Data processing applications -Energy Disaggregation, Data Analytics, Behavioural model, Recommendation Engine, Green energy scheduling- access the measurements in the BENEFFICE platform backend through provided APIs.

The residential consumers use the BENEFFICE mobile application, create a profile with information related to their energy consumption and continuously monitor their energy consumption. In addition, they receive recommended actions and challenges to optimise consumption based on their personal preferences. Successfully adopting these in everyday life results in earning €O2 credits, which can be exchanged to Euro or spent within the BENEFFICE ecosystem, by using the CO2 Credit Management System. The BENEFFICE eco-system unifies different actors and interdisciplinary modules and converges into an overall framework that incentivises voluntarily actions to the residential consumers related to energy efficiency by providing a friendly and useful mobile application.

BENEFFICE components

In a high level the BENEFFICE platform consist of four main parts which are the following:

  1. Residential Components: These consist of:
    • The sensing components (Internet of Things devices) that are installed in the consumers’ residences and measure: the total energy consumption of the residence, the indoor temperature and for a few selected users the gas consumption related to heating.\
    • The external systems that provide the region climate conditions.
    • The BENEFFICE gateway device that is installed in each residence in order to collect and forward all measurements to the backend for storage and further processing.
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    • Verbund Gas Sensor
      Figure 1. Power Meter Figure 2. Gas sensor
      Temp Sensor Gateway
      Figure 3. Temperature sensor Figure 4. Gateway
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  2. BENEFFICE platform backend: This is a multi service platform which handles the data collection of the sensing components and the external systems through the gateway device and is responsible to store the data, to manage the deployed residential gateways and to provide APIs access to all the other Data Processing Applications. In addition, the platform backend is responsible to store the consumer’s input (i.e. profile, preferences, energy consumption related behaviour etc.) and also sent the outcomes of the Data Processing Applications (i.e. disagreggation results, recommendations, challenges, notifications etc.) for display to the BENEFFICE mobile application.
    • Measures
      Figure 5. Viewing measurements values on the backend as received from a specific gateway
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  3. Data Processing Applications: these include all BENEFFICE modules which consume /process data that are stored in the platform back end (obtained from the sensing components, the external systems or provided by the consumer). These are the Energy Disaggregation algorithm, the Data Analytics, the Behavioural model, the Recommendation Engine and the Green energy scheduling.
  4. The BENEFFICE mobile application is the main interface that the residential consumers use in order to interact with the BENEFFICE platform. It collects the consumers' input (i.e. information about their energy consumption behaviour, preferences or actions) and send it to the platform backend to be stored. It also displays energy measurements, disaggregation results, recommendations, challenges and earned €O2 credits to the consumers. The CO2 credit management system enables the circulation of the €O2 currency within the BENEFFICE ecosystem.

App1  App2  App3

Figure 6. BENEFFICE mobile application: Home Screen, Challenges Screen, €O2 transactions screen

BENEFFICE Pilot deployment

Prep

BENEFFICE is currently installed in four pilot countries as follows:

Country Pilot Users
Austria 35
Greece 43
France 15
Spain 10
Denmark 1

 

Figure 7. Preparation of BENEFFICE hardware kits for pilots  

 

BENEFFICE engages with consumers in a wide range of cases, conditions, profiles, etc. while its modular and reconfigurable architecture ensures the wide deployment and applicability after the BENEFFICE research project is concluded. BENEFFICE integrates a revolutionary perspective to the stimulation of Energy Efficient (EE) behavior, based on €O2 digital currency and addresses existing drawbacks in EE adoption. Energy efficient behaviour is sustainable in the long term, as a neutral stimulus can acquire a reinforcement value through an association with a primary re-inforcer – e.g. exchange with real goods or real currency – and can change behaviours even after the primary re-inforcer is removed.