Nisar Ahmed; Shahid Yousaf , pp. 88. COM/School of Computing, 2011.
Context: A District Heating System (DHS) uses a central heating plant to produce and distribute hot water in a community. Such a plant is connected with consumers’ premises to provide them with hot water and space heating facilities. Variations in the consumption of heat energy depend upon different factors like difference in energy prices, living standards, environmental effects and economical conditions etc. These factors can manage intelligently by advanced tools of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) such as smart metering. That is a new and emerging technology; used normally for metering of District Heating (DH), district cooling, electricity and gas. Traditional meters measures overall consumption of energy, in contrast smart meters have the ability to frequently record and transmit energy consumption statistics to both energy providers and consumers by using their communication networks and network management systems.
Objectives: First objective of conducted study was providing energy consumption/saving suggestions on smart metering display for accepted consumer behavior, proposed by the energy providers. Our second objective was analysis of financial benefits for the energy provides, which could be expected through better consumer behavior. Third objective was analysis of energy consumption behavior of the residential consumes that how we can support it. Moreover, forth objective of the study was to use extracted suggestions of consumer behaviors to propose Extended Smart Metering Display for improving energy economy.
Methods: In this study a background study was conducted to develop basic understanding about District Heat Energy (DHE), smart meters and their existing display, consumer behaviors and its effects on energy consumption. Moreover, interviews were conducted with representatives of smart heat meters’ manufacturer, energy providers and residential consumers. Interviews’ findings enabled us to propose an Extended Smart Metering Display, that satisfies recommendations received from all the interviewees and background study. Further in this study, a workshop was conducted for the evaluation of the proposed Extended Smart Metering Display which involved representatives of smart heat meters’ manufacture and residential energy consumers. DHE providers also contributed in this workshop through their comments in online conversation, for which an evaluation request was sent to member companies of Swedish District Heating Association.
Results: Informants in this research have different levels of experiences. Through a systematic procedure we have obtained and analyzed findings from all the informants. To fulfill the energy demands during peak hours, the informants emphasized on providing efficient energy consumption behavior to be displayed on smart heat meters. According to the informants, efficient energy consumption behavior can be presented through energy consumption/saving suggestions on display of smart meters. These suggestions are related to daily life activities like taking bath and shower, cleaning, washing and heating usage. We analyzed that efficient energy consumption behavior recommended by the energy providers can provide financial improvements both for the energy providers and the residential consumers. On the basis of these findings, we proposed Extended Smart Metering Display to present information in simple and interactive way. Furthermore, the proposed Extended Smart Metering Display can also be helpful in measuring consumers’ energy consumption behavior effectively.
Conclusions: After obtaining answers of the research questions, we concluded that extension of existing smart heat meters’ display can effectively help the energy providers and the residential consumers to utilize the resources efficiently. That is, it will not only reduce energy bills for the residential consumers, but it will also help the energy provider to save scarce energy and enable them to serve the consumers better in peak hours. After deployment of the proposed Extended Smart Metering Display the energy providers will able to support the consumers’ behavior in a reliable way and the consumers will find/follow the energy consumption/saving guidelines easily.