Task 14 – Policy Guidance for Smart, Energy-Saving Consumer Devices

Advanced demand response programmes are designed to incentivise consumers to alter their energy usage patterns to better match the electricity supply profile, which is particularly useful to accommodate intermittent renewable power generation. In the residential sector, such programmes involve larger consumer loads (water heating, space heating/cooling, refrigeration, etc.) being controlled by utilities, third parties or consumers themselves.

‘Intelligent efficiency’ ecosystems are systems of devices that operate intelligently to save energy, for example as part of an automated home energy management system (HEMS). Their objective is to save energy, rather than to provide advanced demand response functions.

Advanced demand response and intelligent efficiency initiatives are currently immature, but are expected to flourish in the future. However, large consumer appliances can last 10-20 years, and thus may be ‘locked out’ of these initiatives. One solution to this problem is to ensure that consumer appliances become ‘Smart Ready’ now. This would mean that they incorporate (as a minimum) in-built communication and control capabilities which can be readily used in future advanced demand response programmes, as well as by intelligent efficiency systems such as HEMS. The advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) also makes it significantly easier for devices to become ‘Smart Ready’ as they are connected to the internet.

The objective of this task is to examine and suggest appropriate government policies for encouraging ‘smart readiness’ of consumer devices.

A report was published in May 2020.

A webinar was held on 2 June 2020.

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