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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/M024652/1
Title Measuring and Evaluating Time- and Energy-use Relationships (METER)
Status Completed
Energy Categories Energy Efficiency(Residential and commercial) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields SOCIAL SCIENCES (Sociology) 25%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 75%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 25%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Consumer attitudes and behaviour) 75%;
Principal Investigator Dr P Grunewald
No email address given
Environmental Change Institute
University of Oxford
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 04 October 2015
End Date 31 December 2021
Duration 74 months
Total Grant Value £829,094
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region South East
Programme Energy : Energy
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr P Grunewald , Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , BioRegional Development Group (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of Reading (0.000%)
Project Contact , National Grid plc (0.000%)
Project Contact , UK Energy Research Centre (0.000%)
Project Contact , Moixa Technology Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , Linköping University (LiU), Sweden (0.000%)
Project Contact , Pilio Limited (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract METER addresses a fundamental research question: "What is the temporal relationship between electricity consumption and household activities?". To date this relationship is still poorly understood. METER will address this gap by collecting electricity consumption data in parallel with time-use information using adapted smart phone technology.A detailed understanding of 'what electricity is used for', especially during peak demand periods, is important in addressing emerging system balancing challenges and to develop appropriate policy frameworks and business models leading to the cost effective integration of low-carbon generation.At present electricity is supplied based on a 'predict and provide' paradigm - so long as we can forecast 'how much' electricity is required at any one time, the fleet of mostly fossil fuel based plants can be scheduled to deliver. Little knowledge about the end-uses of energy has been required for this approach. With low carbon sources, such as nuclear, solar and wind, more flexibility may be required from the demand side. Understanding the end use activities supported by electricity becomes more important when seeking to reduce or shift the timing of consumption.Studies attempting to measure electricity use at the appliance level have so far been limited in their scale by the cost and complexity of instrumentation. The absence of statistically robust consumption data has been noted as limiting the UK's world leading research in this area.METER develops a new approach to collect electricity consumption in parallel with time-use information. Smart phone technology, developed by colleagues at Oxford, will be deployed to measure electricity consumption at 1 second resolution and ask participants about the activities they undertake at critical times of the day. The use of smart phones allows this process to be performed at unprecedentedly low costs, such that over 2000 households can be included in the study. This scale is important, because electricity uses are highly diverse and only a sufficiently large sample allows to develop statistically significant evidence for researchers and policy makers.The concurrent collection of time-use and electricity consumption can improve the accuracy of time-use research and provide new insights into the use and timing of electricity consumption and its relationship with household activities. The data and the analytical tools developed by METER will provide much needed insights into the timing of electricity uses, which can underpin a wide range of future research priorities. Among them are emerging energy system balancing challenges and broader policy challenges relying on statistically robust information about the relationship between energy use, demographics, lifestyles and their transitions over time. Findings and insights from METER trials will become publicly available as part of a public outreach campaign, including interactive online tools to explore how Britain uses its electricity and what the public can do to support the transition towards a lower carbon future
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 10/11/15