Advanced Dynamic Energy Pricing and Tariffs (ADEPT)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford


This project addresses a crucial research question that must be answered in the near term is How complicated can, or should, a dynamic electricity tariff be? , such that it is accepted by the public and offers clear enhancements and incentives for reduction in energy demand? The 'can' and 'should' reflect the fact that any ubiquitous technical system is (primarily) designed and implemented by experts, but has to be accepted and operated by non-experts. This project looks at how the information potentially available from smart meters may be exploited to the advantage of both the distribution network operator and the customer. We are looking for the best overall outcome in terms of energy demand reduction, not the best 'engineering solution'. The driving forces towards the need for dynamic tariffs are strong: increased embedded generation, the introduction of plug-in electric vehicles, decreasing national generating capacity, further additions of medium and large scale variable generators, and the prospect of short-term load-shedding by suspending low priority consumption within commercial and domestic. This project aims to discover understanding of the whole interacting system. This project will take account of the smart metering and infrastructure options outlined in the recent Government consulation and response. Using High-Performance Computing to provide a scalable solution to large-scale data management for smart metering is especially timely as it addresses one of the main issues that was raised in the consultation. If, as a nation, we are to lower our overall energy demand, we will have to shift from fossil fuels to less carbon intensive supplies and optimise our energy consumption across all possible sources. This may mean that electricity demand may increase. At the same time, there is an imminent crisis in generating capacity (by whatever means), so we have to make significantly better use of the energy and the assets which make up the infrastructure. The meter is the interface between the consumer and the network operator, so in principle, a smart meter could manage and provide all of the information which describes the state of the network at that point at that time. Increasing data availability will bring benefits to both users and controllers - with detailed knowledge system behaviour in near-to-real-time at the lowest operational level, network operators have a better opportunity to balance the system load, and concurrently offer consumers much enhanced mechanisms for reducing their own power demand.

Planned Impact

The proposed system has the potential to significantly lower residential electricity demand and improve power management in the distribution network, resulting in a more energy efficient and sustainable system. Network observability and stability can also be improved by forestalling peak demand though dynamic and time-of-use pricing. The end product from the consumer and supplier perspectives is an electricity supply system that: 1) offers opportunities to save both electricity and money, 2) is more flexible, and 3) is potentially more sustainable. High performance computing solutions to large-scale data problems are falling in cost and we expect will offer ubiquitous capabilities to assist with systems such as the supply of electricity, with benefits for both consumers and retailers.
Description The project has two key outcomes. Firstly that the use of modern machine learning an, clustering and analytic techniques has significant benefit for the analysis and interpretation of consumption data in the domestic and non-domestic scenarios, and that the communications necessary for smart grid is broadly dependent on the different type of consumers of the information that are foreseen. We also showed through the engagement with focus groups etc that the relationship of the general public to price elasticity etc is extremely varied.
Exploitation Route We have published a large number of journal papers and also achieved follow on funding through the EPSRC WICKED project (EP/L024357/1), InnovateUk Protecting Industrial Data project DIET (102510) and a small EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account Secondment project.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Environment,Financial Services, and Management Consultancy,Security and Diplomacy

Description Advising on evaluation of the customer experience of early-stage smart meter rollout in GB, and this project helps to inform that. Advising energy retailer on smart-meter rollout and how the customer experience can be improved. Working with a major retailer on how they can better forecast energy utilisation reducing energy consumption costs.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Construction,Energy
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic

Description Analytical Middleware for Informed Distribution Networks (AMIDiNe)
Amount £703,091 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/S030131/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2019 
End 05/2021
Description EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account
Amount £27,050 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2017 
End 06/2018
Description ETI Smart Systems and Heat Program Energy Path Operations - Phase 1
Amount £9,900 (GBP)
Funding ID SSH EPO 
Organisation Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2014 
End 01/2015
Description ETI Smart Systems and Heat Program Work Area 3 Chief Technologists
Amount £16,000 (GBP)
Funding ID SSH WA3 WP1 
Organisation Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2012 
End 04/2013
Description Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
Amount £110,843 (GBP)
Funding ID KTP010408 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2016 
End 04/2019
Description Protecting Data in Industry
Amount £439,785 (GBP)
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2015 
End 12/2017
Description Working with Infrastructure, Creation of Knowledge, and Energy strategy Development (WICKED)
Amount £492,581 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/L024357/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2014 
End 06/2016
Description Energy and Digital Technologies: How does e-research help us to use energy technology better? 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Workshop on energy efficiency, smart grid and analytics @ Wolfson College, Oxford which highlight current relevant research activity and how Wolfson may be able to take some research results to increase energy efficiency.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016