"ESO Smart" Mobile App Project Shows Promising Energy Saving Results

Posted by Karolis Mirinavičius
2023-01-12

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Lithuanian DSO “ESO” together with Vilnius University performed research about the effect of descriptive information provision on electricity consumption for household consumers. Idea of the experiment was to investigate electricity consumer behavior: One of the goals was to quantify to what extent consumers are willing to adjust their consumption in relation to electricity market signals. Second key area of research was consumer ability and willingness to lower their consumption during peak electricity price hours.

Ability to adjust electricity consumption and generation will be of key importance during and after currently undergoing transformation of the energy sector worldwide. Household consumers and prosumers constitute about one third of total electricity consumption in Lithuania. There is a need to actively involve them into energy market. Their willingness to adjust to electricity market price signals was somehow unclear.  Handful of publications can be found on this topic and none of them in the scope of Lithuania.

Idea evolved that maybe experiment on this topic could be done in Lithuania. It came from our colleagues from Vilnius University. “ESO” shown interest in this idea and began cooperation with scientists from Vilnius University Faculty of Economics.

THE EXPERIMENT

The idea consisted of creating mobile App with functionality to view hourly production and generation data. Bellow there is an example:

Additional functionality was ability to monitor electricity market data and match hourly consumption and generation with market prices. Active part of this mobile app was notifications that informed consumers about high on-peak hour prices day-ahead:

One additional feature was comparison between similar consumers. Consumers were grouped into several bins depending on their attributes like average electricity consumption:

Experimental sample consisted of approx. 1500 household electricity consumers and prosumers. Mobile application consisted of two versions: basic information provision and extended information provision for consumers. First group was provided with basic information such as hourly consumption data and market prices. Second group additionally received active notifications about market price signals and other data. There was also reference group used as a baseline for calculations. These groups were subjects to experiment. Duration of the experiment was one year – from spring 2020 to spring 2021.

RESULTS

Result showed that information provision on hourly consumption data can help consumers reduce their electricity consumption by 8,6%. This number was bigger than “ESO” estimation. Additional active Information about high price peak hours of electricity can reduce peak loads by about 23%. That does not necessarily mean that these 23% lowers total energy consumption. Experiment showed that some on-peak consumption was simply switched to later hours when electricity was cheaper.

This experiment and its result were published in Journal “Energy Economics” in 2022.

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