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DCC participating in research project to help accelerate transition to Net Zero

The DCC’s first funded research project shows how smart meter system data can be used to solve societal challenges – reducing fuel poverty and increasing decarbonisation.
Smart meter in kitchen

DCC are participating in a research project as part of Modernising Energy Data Applications, a BEIS and Ofgem sponsored competition funded by UK Research and Innovation. The competition is designed to establish new applications that demonstrate how energy system data can be used better to help accelerate the transition to net zero.

The project is a feasibility study to assess how smart meter system data at an aggregated level, when combined with other data sets, can help to identify households in or at a risk of fuel poverty.

The objective is to demonstrate that more accurate identification of geographic areas in which fuel poverty is prevalent will help to ensure energy efficiency measures can be deployed more efficiently, to those who need it most. It is hoped this will help to reduce significant costs (estimated £100m p.a.) to industry, incurred by energy suppliers in particular - in trying to find households that are eligible for energy efficiency measures through policy interventions such as the Energy Company Obligation.

Project timescales

The competition is structured around two phases. The first phase is a feasibility study, followed by a more substantial prototype phase, which would run from September to June 2022.

Project partners

The partners for this project are:

  • Urban Tide – Project Lead and recipient of DCC system data
  • DCC – data provider 
  • Connected Places Catapult – Stakeholder engagement and benefits evaluation
  • University College London – Academic input and access to the Smart Energy Research Lab
  • Greater South East Energy Hub – BEIS sponsored energy efficiency advisory body.

Alignment with DCC strategic objectives

DCC is participating in the project because:

  • It aligns with DCC’s ambition to increase access to smart meter system data as set out in Data for Good. This initiative aligns with both national and energy sector policy which is driving better use of data.
  • It provides a tangible example of system data use for the above purpose (i.e. Data for Good and better use of data) and an opportunity for Project Partners to explore how this data can be used for such purposes while, at the same time, ensuring issues relating to data privacy, ethics and consequences are fully considered and dealt with appropriately
  • Beneficiaries of the project are our customers – a successful data model can help to save industry costs
  • Fuel poverty is a key strand of DCCs re-use programme and part of the drive towards helping to deliver policy priorities. BEIS are engaged, supportive of the project and keen to see the outputs.
  • Ofgem have provided formal approval to our participation in the competition. 

FAQ 

What is smart meter system data? 

System data is the ‘meta-data’ generated by the smart meter system. This includes registration data, device inventory data and message transactions.

What are the implications for consumers from a data privacy perspective? 

The intention of the project is to use anonymised data only – aggregated to lower layer super output area. The initial phase of the project is using mock / synthetic data. Data privacy, ethics and consequences and other consumer considerations are all at the forefront of this project and being considered as an integral part of the design process.

How can I find out more? 

We are very happy to discuss the project further. To find out more, click here and fill out the form at the bottom of the page.