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Novel and customer engaging use cases for home energy consumption data
Published on Wednesday, May 16 2018
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Challenge Expiration Date: June 14, 2018
AbstractThe challenge to Solvers is to identify innovative use cases of detailed home energy consumption data, so to provide energy-utility customers with an engaging home management system/solution.
This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.
Several technical solutions are currently available on the market to provide customers with detailed information about their home energy consumption. As an example, the capability to see and analyse such data is very important for customers to better manage their energy bill. This includes the capability to analyse the consumption of their home appliances but goes beyond it, to the capacity to also recognise the benefits of “greener” and more efficient energy sources, such as photovoltaic energy, that not only bring environmental benefits, they also reduce the dependence from the grid. Recognition of these benefits and seeing them clearly reflect on our energy bill is crucial for the adoption of better practices and “green” energy.
While current solutions can provide such data for customers to become more aware of their consumption (e.g. average consumption rates, peak consumption hours, breakdown of consumption per appliance, etc) and ultimately to reduce the energy bill, what is observed in practice is that the customers’ interest for such data generally tend to decrease rapidly in time.
Hence, this is a call for novel solutions that i) on one hand deliver reliable and useful information for consumers and, ii) on the other hand, do it in an engaging manner so that the customers adopt the solution regularly and consistently over time. The Seeker envisages that this can be achieved by one or both of the following:
- New uses of the data – in addition to services related to consumption-awareness and savings on energy bill, what other services, useful and interesting for the customer, can be enabled by a detailed monitoring of house energy consumption?
- New and engaging interaction/interface modes (e.g. gamification, rewards systems, etc) – what functions should the solution contain so that customers use it regularly and adopt it as a key tool to fulfil their everyday needs (including, but not being limited to, energy-bill management)?
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Several technical solutions are currently available on the market to provide customers with detailed information about their home energy consumption.
There are several ways by which home energy-consumption data are retrieved and made available to the customer (e.g., through an app). These include:
- devices installed in the home fuse box (this option can allow a very detailed monitoring of aggregated energy-consumption data but generally requires a professional installation);
- devices extracting readings from smart meters (this option may allow less detailed consumption monitoring of aggregated energy-consumption data, but generally does not require a professional installation);
- smart plugs (this option allows one to know the consumption of the specific household appliance connected to each plug, rather than home aggregated consumption data).
This calls for novel solutions that i) on one hand deliver reliable and useful information for consumers and, ii) on the other hand, do it in an engaging manner so that the customers adopt the solution regularly and consistently over time. The Seeker envisages that this can be achieved by one or both of the following:
A. New uses of the data – in addition to services related to consumption-awareness and savings on energy bill, what other services, useful and interesting for the customer, can be enabled by a detailed monitoring of house energy consumption?
B. New and engaging interaction/interface modes (e.g. gamification, rewards systems, etc) – what functions should the solution contain so that customers use it regularly and adopt it as a key tool to fulfil their everyday needs (including, but not being limited to, energy-bill management)?
Although not exhaustively, the following links will guide the Solvers to an introduction and overview of the currently market available solutions.
The challenge to Solvers is to identify innovative use cases of detailed home energy consumption data, so to provide energy-utility customers with an engaging home management system/solution.
Important note: the Seeker is interested in solutions that clearly provide a leap forward in comparison to the solutions currently available in the market and that were summarised in the Background section.
Any proposed solution should address the following Solution Requirements:
1. The solution must be based on energy-consumption data at customer’s homes and deliver useful information that customers can use to fulfil their needs (the management of their energy bill is the most immediate use case, but the identification of other uses cases is strongly encouraged)
2. The information provided must be clear, intuitive and useful. This includes, but it is not limited to, all the aspects described in the Background section (energy bill, dependence to the grid, environmental benefits, etc)
3. The solution must be easy to use and engaging, so that customers do not stop using the solution after a short-period. Customers must be driven to use the solution regularly and, ideally, for as long as they are energy consumers. This can mean, but it is not limited to, gamification, rewards systems, etc. The Seeker is open to creative ways to achieve this goal. This would ideally be supported with some evidence that the desired engagement can be achieved (e.g. survey results, case studies)
4. (nice to have) The solution would ideally not require an extremely detailed knowledge of energy-consumption data, so that installation of a device in the fuse box at home is not needed. However, this will not be a primary Requirement if a solution demonstrates to be a compelling case that addresses the above must-have Requirements
5. The proposed system should offer the Seeker client “freedom to practice” or be available for potential licensing. There should be no third party patent art preventing the use of specific equipment and materials for their commercial application. [RV1]
Submitted proposals along with all relevant supporting data should include the information described in the Detailed Description of the Challenge.
The submitted proposal should include the following:
1. Detailed description of a home energy management system/solution to meet the Challenge and the Solution Requirements above listed.
2. Rationale as to why the Solver believes that the proposed solution will work. This rationale should address each of the Solution Requirements in detail and should be supported with relevant examples, data or other justification.
3. Diagrams/sketches, references, cases studies, or any other material that supports the proposed solution.
The Seeker may wish to partner with the Solver at the conclusion of the Challenge. Solver should describe their expertise and include a statement indicating their interest in this opportunity. [RV2]
The proposal should not include any personal identifying information (name, username, company, address, phone, email, personal website, resume, etc.) or any information the Solvers may consider as their Intellectual Property they do not want to share.
Challenge rulesThis is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:
- There is a guaranteed award. The awards will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $10,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $1,000.
- The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker. Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solver grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal, including for promotional purposes.
- This challenge has a specific Regulations and it is available as attachment at the end of this page. All proposers are invited to read it keeping in mind that submitting a solution they automatically accept the Regulations other than the Terms of Usage of this platform.
Late submissions will not be considered.
What happens next?
After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.
InnoCentive collaborates with Enel to manage this challenge.
InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.