The ongoing effort to reduce fossil fuel consumption and to integrate renewable sources within the electrical grid fosters the installation of smart meters in millions of households. Smart meters can measure electricity, gas, or water consumption at a high resolution in time and make related data available within a computer network. This fine grained consumption data contains valuable context information on the demand side and as such forms the basis for novel services and applications.
Prominent examples include the timely provisioning of feedback information on personal energy usage in support of better energy related decision making and the time-base shift of demand to integrate energy from stochastic sources within the emerging smart grid. High hopes are being placed on this integration of information and communication technology (ICT) and the electrical grid. However, researcher and practitioners are still far away from turning their vision of effective, powerful feedback technologies and energy aware appliances into reality.
In the presentation, Thorsten Staake will provide insights why smart feedback technologies do not lead to the hoped-for effects, why user do rarely invest in Green ICT, and what potential approaches exist to change the situation to the better. The talk will detail results of several large scale field studies on smart metering as well as insights from industry projects and startup activities revolving around behavioral change by means of ICT.
Thorsten is lecturer at ETH Zurich and director of the Bits to Energy Lab, a joint research initiative of ETH and the University of St. Gallen. His work is dedicated to bringing together Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp) technologies with insights from behavioral science to build products that motivate and help consumers to conserve energy. Primary fields of application include end-user oriented Smart Metering systems and related feedback technologies. Prior to joining ETH, Thorsten worked at the Auto-ID Labs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Infineon Technologies, and Clariant. He holds a PhD in business administration from the University of St. Gallen and a diploma in electrical engineering and information technology from TU Darmstadt. Thorsten is also co-founder of Amphiro AG, a clean-tech startup that engineers miniaturized generators and self-powered smart water meters for the faucet and fittings industry, and of BEN Energy AG, which develops smart grid software for utility companies.