The transition of the energy system into a more efficient state requires innovative ideas to finance new schemes and engage people into adjusting their behavioural patterns concerning consumption. Effective energy management combined with Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) open new opportunities for local and regional authorities, but also for energy suppliers, utilities and other obligated parties, or even energy cooperatives, to implement mechanisms that allow people to become more efficient either by producing and trading energy or by reducing their energy consumption. In this paper, a novel framework is proposed connecting energy savings with a digital energy currency. This framework builds reward schemes where the energy end-users could benefit financially from saving energy, by receiving coins according to their real consumption compared to the predicted consumption if no actions were to take place. A pilot appraisal of such a scheme is presented for the case of Bahrain, so as to simulate the behaviour of the proposed framework in order for it to become a viable choice for intelligent energy management in future action plans. View Full-Text
Under the Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU) energy companies have to achieve yearly energy savings up to 1.5% of annual sales to final consumers. Although buildings’ occupants and energy end-users seem to be gaining greater awareness of the value and need for sustainable energy practices, they do not behave in a more energy-conscious way. Existing solutions tend to be complicated, excluding buildings’ occupants from the process of understanding how the building works in terms of energy efficiency. This study presents a suite of user-centered applications, which will empower energy end-users to engage in achieving energy efficiency, using an open, secure, privacy-respectful, configurable, scalable cloud based big data infrastructure. This multi-disciplinary big data environment will integrate heterogeneous types of data, combined with emerging machine learning algorithms, distributed ledgers, blockchain technologies and a digital reward scheme through an alternative currency. These tools provide a “user – centric” framework for energy companies, local and regional authorities and third parties to empower energy end-users to take an active attitude in their energy usage. The proposed framework aims at transforming the social environment in a building to make people aware of the value of energy, and the importance of their collaboration, unlocking a potential for 12TWh energy saved in Europe.