“Prosumers”: Who are they?
During the last years, the role and the behavior of consumers have been changed towards a more active and engaging approach, the one of “prosumers”. This new group has been identified as “consumers that produce” energy and has become the new player in an extremely complex market. Prosumers may operate as individual households or as cooperatives, often at the local level, and are both producers and consumers of energy generated by mini-wind turbines, photovoltaic panels, solar collectors and heat pumps for instance. The economic advantages of prosumer energy are manifold, such as better use of local energy sources and economic activation of local communities but also lower energy transmission costs.
Individuals who want to become prosumers should initially assess the aspects of prosumption that are relevant to their houses, buildings or neighborhoods. To do that, they should gather information on the related technologies, costs and benefits, regulations and available support schemes. At the same time, prosumers need to optimize their energy performance to reduce their energy costs, increase their energy independence and achieve greater efficiency in their energy usage.
Useful insights from prosumers energy consumption: The PEASH tool
In the framework of BEYOND, a dedicated tool (“Personalised Energy Analytics Tool for Guidance on Energy Performance Optimisation and Human-Centric Control Automation–PEASH”) for consumers/prosumers to measure their energy consumption will be developed. In particular, the aim of the tool is to:
- Increase prosumer awareness about their energy behavior patterns and their energy consumption within the built environment through personalized energy analytics.
- Engage prosumers in a continuous process for improving their energy behavior through the utilization of appropriate behavioral triggering techniques (behavioral segmentation and normative comparison).
- Provide guidance in the form of tailored and personalized messages for triggering control actions on specific loads for optimizing energy performance and increasing energy savings.
The PEASH tool will provide the following useful functionalities to end users:
– Diagrams for the visualization of individual devices energy consumption time series data.
– Histogram for the visualization of monthly and yearly energy consumption data.
– Analysis of energy data streams from buildings and assets available in buildings to extract meaningful insights for the end-user and trigger energy performance optimisation actions.
– Customized dashboards for visualizing the results of the energy analytics in an intuitive and user-friendly manner.
– Grouping and segmentation of buildings and consumers in multiple sub-groups based on common demographic, building and/ or energy behavior parameters and characteristics.
– Definition of energy efficiency strategies and the generation of personalized recommendations for energy behaviour improvement.
– Visual overview of the status and performance of users’ individual assets and control them remotely by defining the set-points that shall apply over them.
The functionalities mentioned above and many more will help prosumers to optimize energy performance, reduce the environmental impact of energy usage and eventually change their energy behavior to gain more financial benefits.