Amp X testing digital energy assistant

Published: 15 June 2021

Aiming to help UK households reduce their energy costs and carbon intensity, Amp X are trialling their autonomous, digital energy assistant in up to 60 Living Lab homes, a safe and affordable real-world test environment run by the Catapult.

The Edinburgh firms exciting new ‘behind-the-meter’ technology is called ALICE: Agent for Lifestyle-based Intelligent Control of Energy. Using a combination of machine learning, advanced data analytics and control systems, Amp X will help consumers take advantage of low cost and low-carbon energy.

The Innovation

Amp X’s digital energy assistant, ALICE, makes autonomous demand-side-response decisions based on real-world market signals. With advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and user-centred autonomous control, Alice is able to schedule energy usage by household devices’ when the energy is greenest and cheapest. This requires minimal effort on the user’s part, while ensuring their comfort is preserved. Users could additionally get paid by local networks companies when their energy consumption flexibility helps keep the electricity grid stable.

ALICE aims to deliver a consumer-centric solution that optimises energy costs and lowers carbon footprints, whilst unlocking flexibility from the very edge of the grid to improve electricity network resilience, stability, and enable innovative business models.

The Challenge

Amp X is developing transactive-ready products for the electricity grid to facilitate peer-to-peer energy trading in virtualised local energy markets. Transactivity will allow consumers to source energy at the lowest possible costs, whilst relieving grid constraints by leveraging non-wire alternatives.

Ultimately, this project will unlock flexibility to improve grid resilience and maximise renewable energy usage.

This will giving consumers great potential for savings in carbon and cost, and secondary benefits such as optimal appliance monitoring.

However, successfully scaling up digital energy solutions depends on identifying the right target markets and developing the right customer value propositions to deliver widespread consumer uptake.

The Solution

Energy Systems Catapult will help Amp X test the ALICE digital energy assistant with a cohort of independent residential consumers in the Living Lab, leveraging consumer insights and advanced data analytics:

  • Managing the recruitment of up to 60 households into the Living Lab.
  • Consumer Insight specialists will work with trial participants to analyse their experience of ALICE, test the benefits and to understand what the customer values.
  • Using room-by room digital control and sensors to monitor performance, the Living Lab can gather and analyse real-world data such as energy consumption, air temperatures, relative humidity and local weather.

Impact

The Catapult will work with Amp X to analyse and validate the performance of the ALICE digital energy assistant in the Living Lab, including:

  • ALICE’s potential to facilitate demand-side response, provide carbon savings, and reduce energy costs.
  • The consumer experience – providing real-world consumer insight and feedback on ease of installation/set up/removal, usability and the quality of the consumer-interface.
  • The interface between the digital energy assistant and various in-home devices, including Electric Vehicles, smart meters, appliances, and Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning controls.

Next Steps

Following a six month trial that will monitor the performance of ALICE in the Living Lab, including engagement with trial participants, ESC’s Consumer Insight team will deliver a final report to Amp X covering the technical and consumer data.

Amp X will assess the feedback and make any decisions of whether ALICE needs further enhancement or is ready for a commercial-scale roll-out.