Time of Day Trial takes next step to influence electricity consumer behavior
The trial incorporates smart meters and in-home electronic displays, known as Customer Display Units (CDUs) that allow households to monitor electricity consumption during different times of the day. Featuring easy-to-read LCD screens and consumer friendly green, amber and red lights that provide at-a-glance information, the CDUs are an important aspect in raising awareness of electricity usage.
The smart meters are linked to an indicative tariff that will measure the effectiveness of ‘Time of Day’ pricing - in a 24 hour period, electricity is charged at two different prices during this trial: higher at ‘peak times’ and lower at ‘off-peak’*. Information tracked by the smart meters will be recorded and analysed throughout the trial to help identify both consumption patterns and the trial’s success.
Volunteer homes were selected in June from pre-defined gated communities. The installation of 400 smart meters and CDUs in volunteer homes marks the end of an important step in the trial. Nick Carter, the Bureau’s Director General said: “It is at the top of the Abu Dhabi’s agenda to conserve energy and precious resources for future generations. By helping people understand how much energy they consume and when they consume it, collectively we can work towards more efficient and economical solutions for everyone; the sector and consumers alike.”
With the completion of the installation phase, households will now familiarise themselves with the workings of the CDUs. This will allow them to effectively track their household electricity use on an ongoing basis.
Ramiz Alaileh, the Bureau’s Powerwise Manager further explained: “Not only that we are providing our volunteers with practical saving tips and real-time information on their electricity consumption, but we are also providing an incentive to change their behavior through a time-of-day pricing. It is all about ’flattening’ the peak by shifting their consumption to the off-peak.”
Next steps include the introduction of a web portal that will allow participants to understand their progress throughout the trial. All households in the trial will receive personalised reports on monthly basis.
Explaining more on the CDU and the web portal, Alaileh said: “participants will learn about their real-time consumption, as well as hourly, daily and monthly consumption profiles; not only that, but they will also be able to know about how much it costs them at any point in time”
Throughout the trial, participants will pay their electricity bills as usual. While volunteers will not be charged according to the trial prices during peak and off-peak, those who are able to demonstrate significant savings throughout the trial will be rewarded with a rebate.
At the end of the trial in late 2013, the Powerwise Office will review the results to determine the effect time-of-day pricing has on consumption habits.
The volunteer programme is now closed but, for more information about this initiative visit: www.rsb.gov.ae/timeofdaytrial . Representatives from the Bureau and the Powerwise Office will also be available to answer questions at the World Future Energy Summit being held in Abu Dhabi next month [15 – 17 January 2013].