Amp X: Testing digital energy assistant

Amp X is developing a digital energy services platform focused on autonomy, machine-learning, advanced data analytics and control systems – aiming to unlock flexibility to provide cost and carbon savings for consumers and improved grid resilience and stability.

Energy Systems Catapult is working with Amp X via the Energy Launchpad to provide market, regulatory and consumer insights, a digital fitness assessment, business modelling and commercial expertise.

The Amp X Energy Innovation

The Edinburgh firm’s exciting new ‘behind-the-meter’ digital assistant called ALICE: Agent for Lifestyle-based Intelligent Control of Energy.

The Amp X technology will help consumers to shift their energy demand to a time of the day or night to take advantage of low cost and low-carbon electricity.

Unlike some “smart” thermostats and energy management systems on the market, which require significant and regular user involvement before automation, the Amp X technology uses advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and user-centred autonomous control to determine the optimum schedule.

ALICE takes the user’s preferences into account (e.g. electric vehicle charging times, target temperatures or washing machine finish times, etc.) and flexes demand (and generation where applicable) in response to market signals such as variable time-of-use tariffs, measures of energy mix carbon intensity, or a network operator call for flexibility services to manage grid constraints.

In short, Amp X has developed a solution that gives consumers greater control over cost and carbon, maximises the use of renewable energy and should improve grid resilience and avoid reinforcement costs.

The Challenge

Amp X wants to develop a fully transactive grid that facilitates peer-to-peer energy trading in local energy markets, unlocks flexibility from the very edge of the grid to improve electricity network resilience, stability, and enable innovative business models.

Challenges that Amp X face to achieve these aims include:

  • Time of use tariffs – are key but consumer uptake to date has been relatively low. Only the most active and engaged consumers can realise significant savings and avoid higher charges because of (inadvertent) energy use at the time of peak prices. Amp X’s technology enables the least engaged to enjoy the benefit of the most engaged and maximise ToU tariff value.
  • Customer Value Proposition – will be dependent on the potential cost and carbon savings and secondary benefits such as optimal monitoring/control of appliances.
  • Energy Market Insight and Strategy – successfully scaling-up will depend on identifying the right target markets and the go-to-market strategy.

The Innovative Solution

Energy Systems Catapult is home to the Energy Launchpad, which provides carefully selected innovators with tailored business incubation and acceleration support to help address barriers to growth, de-risk innovation, scale-up the business and secure investment.

Energy Launchpad’s Accelerator programme offers scale-up support for selected high-impact potential SMEs and links to investors, including business model development and validation, access to the Catapult’s demonstration environments such as the Living Lab, engagement with potential corporate customers, investment readiness and partnership development, access to international opportunities.

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Energy Launchpad – Accelerator

Energy Systems Catapult and its partners delivered:

  • Market Insight: Market segmentation analysis, identifying market opportunities, size, demand drivers for this product.
  • Business Model Innovation: Reviewing Customer Value Proposition and existing business model.
  • Route to Market Analysis: Value chain analysis of the preferred route, partnering and scaling opportunities.
  • Consumer Insight: Review of the products User Interface and develop suitable protocols for future trials.
  • Markets, Policy and RegulationProvide an overview of the UK energy regulations, such as flexibility & aggregation, that would impact on the business model and recommendations for their inclusion and/or mitigation.
  • Digital Energy Fitness Assessment: Review the data strategy being used within the business model, identify what other sources of data could be integrated into it and the likely revenue benefits. Review the digital strategy for the product and recommend the design strategy for the data points, data types and instrumentation options.

The Impact

Following the success of the Energy Launchpad Accelerator programme, Amp X decided to test the ALICE digital energy assistant with a cohort of independent residential consumers in the Energy System Catapult’s Living Laba safe and affordable real-world test environment of over 500 homes run by the Catapult.

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 leveraging consumer insights and advanced data analytics:

  • Managing the recruitment of 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.

Energy Systems Catapult is working 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.
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Amp X: Testing their Digital Energy Assistant in the Living Lab

Next Steps

Following a six month trial that will monitor the performance of ALICE in the Living Lab, including engagement with trial participants, our 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.

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Amp X Digital Energy Assistant

Living Lab

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