Newsletter

December 2018

EDI-Net at a glance

The EDI-Net (Energy Data Innovation Network) initiative analyses and communicates sub-hourly electricity, gas and water smart meter data to identify waste and savings opportunities, reduce consumption and save money. The initiative is aimed at public authorities’ decision makers, financial planners, energy and building managers and building users. An online forum and workshops facilitate the sharing of knowledge, experiences and best practices to support public authorities during the implementation of their sustainable energy and climate action plans.

Data can reveal small but costly increases
in usage

Performance is summarised into simple
league table, unusual consumption is
highlighted as red or green

Performance is summarised into a simple
league table, unusual consumption is
highlighted as red or green

The philosophy behind the EDI-Net analysis

High resolution metering data are extremely useful for understanding the patterns of consumption in a building. In particular when metering systems are first installed, reviewing the data they produce often identifies opportunities for reducing waste such as water leaks or lighting/heating usage during unoccupied periods. These kinds of problems can often lead to low cost and high impact interventions such as resetting existing controls. Even well performing buildings can revert to inefficient operation over time as faults occur and problems are overlooked. Monitoring meter data can help to identify problems early but regular monitoring of energy and water usage is not easy, especially when the number of buildings is large. The sheer volume of data is often a barrier. Reviewing large numbers of datasets on a regular basis can be a tedious and inefficient use of time.

The EDI-Net dashboard is a true monitoring system. It systematically analyses all your buildings, automatically, every day. The analysis uses historic data (12 months) to establish an expected pattern of usage for each dataset. We then compare the current usage to our expectation to provide an up to date, half-hourly analysis of current performance. Our main aim is to guide you towards the datasets of interest (i.e. those where consumption patterns have changed). This allows you to confidently ignore the datasets that have not changed since the last time you looked. This approach cuts out the vast majority of time it takes to monitor building energy and water data because there is no need to look at datasets where consumption patterns are just as expected.

The dashboard user interface provides a way to navigate through the pre-calculated results in a simplified summary form. Unusual results (unexpectedly high or low consumption) are highlighted. For each individual dataset we present a simple visualisation which shows observed consumption compared to our expectation so you can see why we highlighted the dataset. In typical operation most datasets can be ignored and only a few are highlighted for review.

EDI-Net supports Energy Challenge Weeks of healthcare provider

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, a major provider of mental health and community healthcare services, joined EDI-Net a few months ago. Energy usage is one of the Trusts most significant environmental impacts. It is also economically significant with their energy costs (both gas and electricity) in 2017/18 being just over £2 million.

As well as targeting energy reduction through an energy reduction plan, the Trust has committed to delivering an energy awareness campaign on an annual basis. The first ever annual Energy Challenge was launched in 2015 and covered 19 buildings that have effective metering providing consistently good quality, high resolution, sub-hourly data on a regular basis. This meant comparisons could be made of real time high accuracy data. The Energy Challenge was designed specifically to engage with staff at these sites for two main reasons, one to encourage behaviour change, such as turning off lights and equipment, but secondly to encourage the reporting of issues with heating and other equipment so these could be investigated and where possible, dealt with as quickly as possible.

This year the Trust used EDI-Net interactive tool for their Energy Challenge to allows staff members to access at any time, accurate energy performance information about their site electronically in a red, yellow, green rated smiley face system, which tells them how successful their energy conservation efforts have been that week. The Energy Challenge has been well received by staff and this has independently co-ordinated energy conservation efforts at their sites. The resources provided have enabled them to communicate and quantify how small changes in staff behaviour have made a difference at site level. These behaviour changes have subsequently been implemented in their home environments too, leading to even more positive change and raised awareness in the general population. A staff member from a winning site quoted: “We’ve really enjoyed taking part in the Energy Challenge and have all learned ways to save energy and reduce costs. We look forward to taking part again”.

In November, the Trust’s Energy Challenge using EDI-Net won the Water and Energy Category at the Sustainable Health and Care Awards 2018. The awards, commissioned by the NHS Sustainable Development Unit and delivered by NHS Employers were created to highlight and celebrate the fantastic sustainable development work across the NHS, social care and public sector. The team were delighted to win the award and Lynn Walker, Trust Environmental and Sustainability Manager said “It is incredibly humbling and rewarding to have your efforts acknowledged by those who are most influential in both the sector and the wider sustainability agenda. We are extremely passionate about what we do and will build on this success to ensure that the Trust continues to deliver sustainable healthcare for our patients”.

Interview with the energy manager of Leicester

There is increasing pressure on local authorities in the European Union to reduce the energy consumption of their public buildings. A great potential is seen in the analysis of short-term meter data on the energy and water consumption of municipal buildings. However, many municipalities in the UK do not yet have automatic consumption data for gas, water or electricity. Leicester City Council, UK, is already further along in this respect and in 2004 - 2005 they began equipping public buildings with smart meters. Michael Richardson talks about this process from his point of view as team leader of the Energy team Leicester.

What was your motivation to introduce this complex technology to you?

Michael Richardson (MS): We wanted to be able to identify excess or irregular consumption patterns and reduce wastage of energy – electric, gas, water and also reduce costs and CO2 emissions. EDI-Net provides timely and accurate energy management information and a benchmark by building types. Better and more detailed information means also that we can provide customised advice which hopefully leads to behavioural change. Verifying savings as a result of energy efficiency improvements was also an important point. In addition we wanted to encourage and stimulate energy efficiency investment and operational changes.

What obstacles or difficulties did you encounter?

MS: One issue were the costs of installation as well as finding a supplier who installed the smart meters. We had to figure out how to pulse output meters with a customer interface for our AMR system. Due to the location of the meters (mainly water) it can be difficult to pick them up because they’re in a chamber far away from the building. Besides there were some organisational changes such as the closure or disposal of buildings, building leased out, staff changes and financial changes.  

Have you noticed in the meantime that the effort was worth it? Why? 

MS: Yes definitely, our staff is much more aware of the topic now. We identified and reduced many leaks and wastage more quickly. Since our authority has some ambitious environmental commitments we needed to be proactive. All in all, we already achieved time savings, cost savings, CO2 savings, reputational benefit, behavioural change and an encouraged energy efficiency investment.

In the view of EDI-Net, the best approach is not only based on the analysis of short-term meter data, but also on the active involvement of building owners, building users and experienced decision-makers. The innovation of EDI-Net therefore lies in a user-driven approach to support public administration in capacity building, knowledge sharing and the implementation of an effective sustainable energy policy with the help of "Big Data". What prompted LCC to introduce the EDI-Net software in the run-up to the project?

MS: We already had a prior system in place and EDI-Net presented an opportunity to take things to the next level for both users and energy managers. We were particularly convinced by more automation through continuously monitoring consumption trends. We also like the user friendly interface and the additional features such as the league tables and the forum.

What are the actual advantages and how do you already use the visualisation of your consumption data by EDI-Net or do you have further plans? 

MS: Data can be clearly understood, it’s in a reasonably simple format that people can relate too. Our further plans are to implement energy efficiency improvements to our building stock when finances permit that.

What improvement suggestions would you have for EDI-Net?

MS: More features could be developed to meet user’s needs. In addition more automatisms would be nice, for example alarms and reminders. 

Save the date – EDI-Net @ Energy Efficiency Finance Market Place 2019

From 19th to 20th February 2019, EASME and the Covenant of Mayors will again host an "Energy Efficiency Finance Market Place" in Brussels, offering the opportunity to discuss the most important success factors for financing climate adaptation, clean urban transport and energy efficiency at operational level. The conference will bring together cities, industry and financial institutions to exchange on good practices and successful solutions to common challenges. EDI-Net will also participate with a session at the Market Place and explain how the tool can be used for savings.

More information and the agenda will follow shortly.  

A look outside the box - listen to the Smart City

The Smart Cities Information System (SCIS) brings together projects in the fields of energy, mobility & transport and ICT to stimulate the upscaling of Smart Cities in Europe, thus providing a higher quality of life in a sustainable urban environment. Launched with support from the European Commission, the SCIS database gathers information, experience, data and lessons learned from completed and ongoing projects. It is thus a one-stop-shop for project developers, cities, researchers, industry, policy makers and any other stakeholder interested in the creation of Smart Cities. 

In “Urban Reverb”, the first European Smart Cities podcast series, SCIS interviews people living in or working on Smart Cities, ranging from citizens to engineers to politicians. Every podcast is focusing on a specific theme such as the technical topic of “Bi-directional Chargers” but also more social ones like “Behaviour Change”. Every issue brings you closer to at least three projects and the people involved. From experience, they talk about innovative solutions to save energy and reduce CO2 emissions, as well as obstacles that they might have encountered on the way to implementation. Podcast #2 about “Building Retrofit”, for example, discusses how retrofitting improves energy ratings of already existing buildings by putting in double glazing and more efficient heating as well as solar panels, heat pumps and smart energy management systems, including stories from the projects SharingCities, SmartEnCity and ZenN.

Take part in the POWER Idea Contest

With the support of EDI-Net, the City of Nuremberg has already been able to save many cubic metres of water, which is good for the environment and has also significantly saved the city's treasury. If you have any ideas on how to save water, or if you are already active in projects that address water issues in order to protect people and the environment, then take part in the POWER Idea Contest and win support for the implementation of your ideas or your projects. Further information can be found here.

Events

Horizon 2020 ENERGY EFFICIENCY INFO DAY

22 January 2019 | Bruxelles, Belgium

Energy efficiency topics of the 2019 call of Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 3 – Clean, Secure and Efficient Energy – will be presented in a series of workshops organised by EASME throughout the day. The aim of the Horizon 2020 Energy Efficiency Info Day is to present funding opportunities under the 2019 call, to attract new applicants and potential beneficiaries, and to foster networking between participants.

More Information

World Sustainable Energy Days

27 February – 1 March 2019 | Wels, Austria

Energy efficiency and renewable energy are at the core of Europe’s commitment to a clean energy transition that serves the needs of citizens, economic development and the environment. Achieving a smart, socially fair and sustainable energy system requires strong policies, competitive businesses and technology innovation. Mastering the digital transformation of energy and buildings will be crucial for creating a thriving economy and for the success of the global clean energy transition.

More information

Empowering Neighbourhoods for Climate Action

10 and 11 April 2019 | Arnhem, Netherlands

Two day joint conference on neighbourhood approaches towards local climate action | For successful implementation of climate mitigation and adaptation strategies, it is fundamental to involve neighbourhoods and their residents. Changing perspectives from top-down to bottom-up and meeting residents eye-to-eye is key to create sustainable, long term results.

More information

Join the EDI-Net initiative


http://www.edi-net.eu

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Learn more about our EDI-Net consortium

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 695916.

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