empirica works with cities, utilities, researchers and service providers across Europe on innovative means to improve energy efficiency in public and private buildings. We coordinate large projects and offer evaluation, business analysis and solution consulting.
Energy Decision Support offers targeted guidance to optimise energy consumption. ICT can easily provide professionals, staff and tenants with timely information to stop wastage and optimise processes.
As sophisticated as the ICT to be implemented might be, users will have to make the initial settings, regularly check for faults and tweak the performance. With an increasing number of active systems, including storage, professionals require, at least, clear information. ‘Energy Decision Support and Awareness Services’ give advice and guidance for optimising energy consumption of facilities and optimal energy consumption behaviour to professionals responsible for building operation, to residents as well as staff building users and to visitors. Feedback is based on metering current energy consumption and automatic comparison of historic data, norms and simulation enabling humans to act in unconditional or conditional manner:
- Unconditional actions are generic optimisations of installations and day-to-day behaviour. Energy savings are achieved, for instance, as soon the change is made to installations (e.g. retro-fitting) and behaviour is adopted. Typically, unconditional actions require long-term assessment such as benchmarks allowing the provision of generic advice, training and consulting.
- Conditional actions are specific optimisations of consumption anomalies occurring without obvious patterns over time. Energy savings are achieved, for instance, by correction of failures, approaching individuals causing consumption spikes and optimising procedures to prevent the event. Typically, conditional actions require regular data updates and push messages enabling professionals and keen individuals to search for the cause.
empirica has over a decade experience in developing, implementing, assessing and adapting decision support services. Enabling tenants and citizens to make better energy decisions requires a large skill set starting with requirements definition, the ability to identify relevant use cases and explore them with user groups, organizational analysis and process design. Our skills extend to understanding measures needed for compliance to data protection legislation as well as how to address user fears of data corruption, unauthorized access or loss, enabling energy professionals and ordinary users to communicate effectively and unreservedly.
We provide analysis and support to the development of services for energy management, smart services which anticipate consumption, correct failures to optimise cost structures and the behaviour of energy-relevant installations
Fully integrated Energy Management Services (EMS) comprise ICT-based systems that are able to directly switch, control and adjust a range of energy consuming systems and devices. Advanced management systems anticipate future conditions and / or optimise outcomes outside the envelope.
Sophisticated EMS installed in a number of buildings make use of the buildings’ capacities and are also capable of integrating local storage and peak consumption. Automated Demand Response (ADR) responding to signals from the grid can be used to optimise results on the demand side. EMS can be extended to include controllable production on site. This innovative approach ensures that the increasing number of poorly controlled or uncontrolled generators dependent on weather conditions are used optimally and the local grid is balanced by achieving responsiveness of demand and controllable supply – including simultaneous control of decentral CHP plant to achieve grid balance.
empirica has over a decade experience in developing, implementing, assessing and adapting energy management services. Linking consumption, production and storage requires deep understanding of local circumstances and processes, and the ability to identify and source appropriate technical solutions for a range of installations.
Evaluation and Cost Benefit Analysis
We provide the statistical tools and data gathering methodology to establish the effect of energy-saving innovations, complemented with an EC-compliant, multi-stakeholder cost-benefit analysis approach which has already been applied widely across Europe.
Judging whether an energy solution has been successful in saving energy requires a standardised evaluation approach capable of correcting for external influences such as varying temperatures or occupation. empirica has developed the methodologies and the online tool eeMeasure to be used by all EC projects under the ICT-PSP programme. Currently, over 100 EC-pilot sites calculated their final results in our tool.
Our Cost Benefit Analysis tool supports over 300 individual indicators and complies with recent EC guidelines (‘Recommendation on preparations for the roll-out of smart metering systems’ [2012/148/EU]). There are a complete sets of indicators in the areas implementation (CAPEX), operation (OPEX) and consumption, supporting a very wide range of business models. The tool has been applied in 17 different business models in residential sector and 11 in non-residential sector. The CBA tool supports comparison of ‘Intervention’ strategies, also allowing traditional comparison with a ‘Do Nothing’ scenario as the decision situation requires. The tool supports modeling deployment scenarios (e.g. scaling up) and automatically generates graphs and tables.
empirica has wide experience in selecting and applying methods of evaluation and exploitation analysis in all company domains. We are capable of identifying relevant indicators and ways to measure them. Our tools are flexible and can be adjusted to the customer’s needs. The portfolio also includes custom-made online surveys and qualitative interviews.
Technology Research and Documentation
The energy domain is confronted with rising and interlinking requirements. Our interdisciplinary know how reaches from data privacy assessment to ontologies and policies.
Energy services cannot be deployed without considering existing and future developments affecting an increasing number of stakeholders. Tenants consider energy supply as a given and any change to comfort caused by the service will most likely trigger a response unhinging the service from the dwelling. Moreover, ICT experts, municipal decision makers and the average user do have varying understanding of energy consumption, storage and supply. Depending on residential or non-residential environments or combinations of both, different technologies need to be integrated to achieve good outcomes.
We provide an interactive online ‘Guide for Replication’ summarising the lessons learnt from 5 projects. The guide offers different angles for numerous stakeholders. For instance, technical detail using BPML and UML etc is only offered to experts.
empirica has been assisting in the deployment of ICT services (e.g. TeleWork and eHealth) for over 25 years. Our experience enables us to collect knowledge from and share the insights across a wide range of stakeholders.