A key element of the Behind The Meter Billing project is to improve the ways occupants benefit from community energy assets. To flatten the curve of energy waste, Behind the Meter Billing encourages communities to take a data driven approach to their energy consumption. Solar electricity generation, electrical battery storage, and a planned thermal energy store can be managed using a digital platform and data to learn how the community and wider networks operate. As the community grows, the battery will then be used to match predicted demand and PV generation.
The team is testing four different energy scenarios for households that will go beyond the current-state-of-the-art of firm frequency response to the grid. The battery will then arbitrage between the firm frequency response operation, meeting private-wire demand and managing its own capacity to accommodate onsite generation.
The flexibility the community system creates is of increasing value as society transitions to an all electric future, creating the revenue to finance the community's energy assets.
Many energy projects rely on emulation software to simulate energy usage so teams can retrospectively analyse what might have happened to supply and demand trends. This project's success lay in its ability to test new digital technologies in real life settings and draw on live data capture.
The University of Nottingham provides the technical expertise and SmartKlub the operational experience. The ESCO is consolidating all the various supply options so the household only has to deal with one bill and one point of contact, testing both the business models needed to deliver such a service as well as demonstrating how an ESCO can interact with a licensed energy supplier and provide a quality service to consumers.
The University of Nottingham, as part of the Active Building Centre Research Programme, is evaluating and optimising energy flows using price signals and consumer activities and understanding how this impacts on consumption.
By bringing together various energy sources, including grid and on-site renewables and batteries, the team can tweak the supply and bill to each household engaged in the study and test a number of scenarios - from the standard setup of occupants only being supplied by grid tariffs and billed using flat rate or variable time-of-use (ToU) tariffs; to being billed for a blend of in-house and grid energy supply; right through to the occupant being supplied entirely by the community energy centre and essentially off-grid, and being billed by a half-hourly tariff fully broken down by energy source.
SmartKlub is consolidating the various supply options so the household only has to deal with one bill and one point of contact. This testing will show how an ESCO can interact with a licensed energy supplier and provide a quality service as well as comprehensive billing.
The team is collecting a whole host of data from the households and community assets to create a digital twin of the development. Data is captured about individual circuit energy and power usage; sensors record occupancy temperature, relative humidity, and CO2; and an onsite weather station records variations in the external environment.
The team has also experimented with different technologies such as voice-activated environment controls using Amazon Echo's Alexa technology, that will help occupants interact more with their own and communal energy assets, and make more informed choices about their usage. All the data is anonymised during collection but still provides property-level analysis and gives a more holistic view of the wider factors that may be impacting on energy consumption.