C-AWARE: Enabling Consumer Awareness of Carbon Footprint Through Mobile Service Innovation (Cambridge/Nottingham/Exeter)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: School of Computer Science

Abstract

C-AWARE is directed at providing applications to inform consumers of the impact of their behaviour on their carbon footprint, in the context of home energy use and transport. It is a two year feasibility study.There is body of knowledge about sensors, sensor networks, and aggregation of sensor information on which we can build. But while there are a number of systems for monitoring and informing consumers about energy use, these tend to be closed systems in which the information service provide controls the infrastructure, be this an energy provider, a road traffic information system, or a building management system.The assumptions which underlie this work are threefold:i) that globally deployed solutions will use mobile phones to interact with users (since in many parts of the world this is the only information infrastructure);ii) that there is a gap in our knowledge about how information applications can influence user behaviour both individually and as a collective; andiii) that we require platforms that both give flexibility to allow the rapid evolution of deployed applications, and are commercially viable.This is not a technology development study; the building blocks - sensor networks and mobile handsets - are available. It is an examination of two distinct but interacting challenges: (i) developing and evolving compelling and influential energy information applications; and(ii) providing a large scale commercial platform on which this development and evolution can be undertaken by independent application providers in light of observed behaviour.In each case the specific instances (energy awareness application, sensor aggregation) and general methodologies (user-centric application development, intermediate network services) will be examined. To meet these challenges we have brought together a multidisciplinary team from Cambridge, Nottingham, Exeter, and China Mobile. The expertise includes business modelling, networking and distributed systems, security, psychology, and sociology.China Mobile have allocated $100k in personnel and other costs to this project.China Mobile, the world's largest mobile operator are a key partner in this project, having demonstrated a willingness to entertain business models and deploy intermediate services - such as aggregation of sensor information - to allow application innovation by third parties.As well as providing insights into the problems described (and many subproblems) the main output of this project will transferred to commercial exploitation via China Mobile or one of its global partners and via the Horizon Digital Economy Hub at Nottingham and Cambridge.

Publications

10 25 50

publication icon
Irene Ng (Author) (2012) Value, Variety and Viability: New Business Models for Co-Creation in Outcome-based Contracts in International Journal of Service Science, Management, Engineering, and Technology

publication icon
Badinelli R (2012) Viable service systems and decision making in service management in Journal of Service Management

 
Description We investigated the feasibility of a ubiquitous set of applications that could enhance consumer awareness of carbon footprint. Addressing three challenges:

1. The provision of applications that are compelling to users, that provide comprehensible information that make the consumers aware of the implications of their behaviour, and which can be delivered onto the projected ecosystem of deployed handsets;

2. Ensuring that privacy concerns are addressed: Mobile devices can be enabled to monitor and report a great deal of information about an individual's energy use, for example by interaction with smart meters or smart plugs in the home or office, or through location information supplied to inference engines. Some of this information is useful in the aggregate, e.g. for the optimisation of transport, but awareness of ones own behaviour necessarily involves processing, by some agent or application, information related to ones behaviour; and

3. Ensuring that a viable business model exists for those providing the infrastructure behind the applications: There will be a large volume of very small event descriptions, which will be passed between service providers and third party application providers with consumer and provider specific privacy constraints.
Exploitation Route It is important to consider the underlying mechanisms of behavior chance at a psychological level - observed short changes in some contexts may not be sustainable or appropriate in others as shown by our work on counter intuitive results around shared commendation - this has lead the team to the follow on project C-Tech as the URL shown.
Sectors Energy,Environment

URL http://energyforchange.ac.uk/
 
Description Follow on research activity in understanding little studied complexities fo energy attribution in shared spaces - EPSRC funded CTech. Through UKERC in policy advice around correct framing in communications around energy savings. Ongoing activity wiring the Connected Digital Economy Catapult with energy sensors (within CTech).
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Energy
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description Creating the Energy for Change
Amount £1,053,883 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/K002589/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2012 
End 08/2017
 
Description Digital Economy 'New Economic Models' Network+
Amount £1,528,703 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/K003542/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2012 
End 03/2015
 
Description E.ON AG
Amount £200,000 (GBP)
Funding ID SWITCH 
Organisation E ON 
Sector Private
Country Germany
Start 04/2012 
End 03/2013
 
Description E.ON AG
Amount £200,000 (GBP)
Funding ID SWITCH 
Organisation E ON 
Sector Private
Country Germany
Start 04/2012 
End 03/2013
 
Description Fine-grain electricity monitoring in Pathology Dept, Cambridge
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Cambridge 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2013 
End 09/2013
 
Description Infrastructure contribution - The University of Nottingham
Amount £500,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Nottingham 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2012 
End 05/2012
 
Description International Initiative Grant on Smart Homes
Amount £117,000 (GBP)
Organisation E ON 
Sector Private
Country Germany
Start 03/2012 
End 12/2012
 
Description International Initiative Grant on Smart Homes
Amount £117,000 (GBP)
Organisation E ON 
Sector Private
Country Germany
Start 03/2012 
End 12/2012
 
Description Monitoring infrastructure of buildings
Amount £25,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Cambridge 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2011 
End 12/2011
 
Description Scenarios for the development of smart grids in the UK
Amount £499,435 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/J005975/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2011 
End 08/2013
 
Description Studentships from The University of Nottingham
Amount £280,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Nottingham 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2011 
End 09/2014
 
Description Transforming the UK Energy System: Public Values, Attitudes and Acceptability
Amount £468,747 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/I006753/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2011 
End 12/2012
 
Description Aligned DTC student projects 
Organisation University of Nottingham
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution DTC student projects have been aligned with the C-Aware project. Numerous projects have been aligned with C-Aware: - Jianhua Shao (a Horizon DTC student) undertook a 3-month internship with China Mobile in Beijing. - Jacob Chapman (a Horizon DTC student) has undertaken a practice-led project under Caroline Leygue?s supervision, investigating the monitoring of energy usage in the workplace and responsibility and social interactions around energy use.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Aligned student projects - Cambridge 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution At the University of Cambridge, two undergraduate group projects were undertaken on energy use ? one to provide visualisation of energy use in a data centre and one for cost/benefit monitoring of domestic refrigerators.
Start Year 2010
 
Description China Mobile contributions 
Organisation China Mobile
Country China 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution China Mobile have given in-kind contributions totalling £77K, for hosting project workshops in China, travelling to the UK to attend project meetings and in providing 20 mobile phones for undertaking experiments. China Mobile also hosted Jianhua Shao's internship.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Horizon Internship 
Organisation University of Nottingham
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Eryk Walczak, a recent graduate from Nottingham, studied the use of communal energy displays to inform users of their energy consumption and the possibility of introducing incentives and sanctions in order to reduce energy use. This internship resulted in a poster at the Digital Engagement 2011 poster. Eryk is now studying for a Masters in cognitive psychology at University College London. Eryk's internship was paid using Horizon's Partnership Resource funding.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Horizon Partnership Resource 
Organisation Research Councils UK (RCUK)
Department Horizon Institute (Horizon Hub grant)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Partnership Resource funding (£17K) from the Horizon Hub grant has been aligned with the work of C-Aware, with additional staffing time in the areas of psychology and HCI contributed. The Horizon Hub?s Smart Living project (an additional £197K) will continue beyond the time scale of C-Aware.
Start Year 2010
 
Title Low Cost Electricity Monitor 
Description Providing energy use information to individual building occupants requires knowledge at a sufficiently fine level of granularity. Available technology is either expensive or closed (in the sense that it is difficult to get raw information from them.) The project developed electricity monitor prototypes. The latest is capable of measuring up 30 circuits simultaneously and is designed to be located next to distribution panel or consumer unit. The cost per circuit monitored is then dominated by the cost of the current transformer (e.g. £15) required to measure current on a circuit rather than the measurement processing storage and communication. Full description can be found at http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/research/srg/netos/c-aware/mon32.html 
Type Of Technology Physical Model/Kit 
Year Produced 2012 
Impact Prototypes are being used by research partners and in a deployment at the University of Cambridge 
URL http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/research/srg/netos/c-aware/mon32.html
 
Description Blue Peter Climate Change Special 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Prof Gillott appeared on the Blue Peter Climate Change Special (outreach approx. 370,000) to discuss wireless energy technology and energy monitoring.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Electric20 trial 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Energy deployments aligned to both TEDDI projects C-Aware and Desimax and the Horizon Hub-funded Smart Living project have engaged the public. In the Electric20 trial, electricity monitoring kits have been combined with additional computing technology to allow donation of domestic electricity consumption data to the Horizon cloud datastore from 28 homes. A variety of services were provided to feedback data to the households, and the impact of the feedback on everyday family life was observed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Personal energy information: opportunities and challenges 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Personal energy information: opportunities and challenges, Cambridge CleanTech:Smart Metering and Grids SIG (2012).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Public participant trials 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Surveys have assessed how people react to the need for monitoring of energy consumption. In a trial of students living in residential halls on campus, we looked at the effects of framing energy use on displays in terms of costs or carbon emissions. In another set of trials, participants sharing a property with others who have different energy consumption behaviours were surveyed, showing that the type of energy display could affect how people react towards those who use too much energy, and how much energy they intend to use in return. The total number of people surveyed for the C-Aware project is 1,500.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description The Joule Energy Monitoring Visualisation Tool 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience
Results and Impact While this could be described as two outputs, a visualisation tool and a live repository of energy information, it appears to the user as a visualisation of energy consumption in the Gates Building at the University of Cambridge,



This presents fine-grained information, for example down to the level of lighting or socket use on a given corridor. It allows the user to explore energy use by geography or function, so one can

see e.g. how much energy is used on a corridor or how much is used on lighting for the whole building.



The website is at



http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/meters/



A parallel but potentially much larger system is being implemented in the Pathology Department at the University
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011