In the future, the European energy transition will bring a large share to renewable sources. The intermittency of renewable energies will require energy flexibility to ensure a balanced energy supply. The active participation of all consumers, including residential consumers, will therefore be essential. Engaging residential consumers is itself a challenge. One method of meeting this challenge is that the consumer receive cognitive reinforcements from time to time; which modify their behavior and eventually become their habit.
Through the collaborative work of the G2Elab, GAEL, LIG and G-Scop laboratories a multi-year project entitled EXPESIGNO is being executed between 2018 and 2022. The interest of this project is to test and validate the impact of these cognitive reinforcements. EXPESIGNO includes a field experiment to study the impact of cognitive reinforcements on household energy consumption. These cognitive reinforcements are called "Nudges".
Figure 1 - Architecture of EXPESIGNO projet
The combination of behavioral economics methodologies (developed by GAEL) with the energy flexibility alerting architecture (developed by G2Elab) constitutes a promising tool among existing energy flexibility tools (i.e. direct control and dynamic pricing). For the experiment, the daily load curve of the household consumption (measured by LINKY) was obtained by ENEDIS; in accordance with the GDPR agreement signed with the households. The EXPESIGNO algorithm processes third party API data to trigger alerts to the treated group (see EXPESIGNO project architecture above).
According to the statistical analysis, households change their energy consumption in response to the energy flexibility signal at the aggregate level. The figure below summarizes the statistical analysis by comparing the treated group with the control group. At the aggregate level, the treated group decreased its consumption by 18.2% in response to orange alerts, while an 11.5% increase in energy consumption of the treated group is observed in response to green alerts.
Figure 2 - The results of statistical analysis in terms of decrease or increase in consumption
A particular point of the EXPESIGNO project is the inclusion of feedback in the experiment. For each energy flexibility intervention, subjects receive graphical feedback of their effort. After a few days of intervention, a graphical feedback is given to each subject of the treated group. See, for example, the graphical feedback of a subject during the intervention period between 6pm and 8pm (orange alert) in the figure below. The interest of this intervention was to decrease the consumption during the intervention period.
Figure 3 - Feedback from a subject for load curtailment intervention
As part of EXPESIGNO's scientific production, several conference papers are presented. In addition, a thesis in electrical engineering at G2Elab is defended by Muhammad Salman Shahid before a multidisciplinary jury. The thesis is directed by Benoît Delinchant (G2Elab), co-directed by Béatrice Roussillon (GAEL), and co-supervised by Frédéric Wurtz (G2Elab) and Daniel Llerena (GAEL). The project was supported by the Auvergne Rhône Alpes region, "Pack Ambition Recherche 2017 - Projet Expesigno" (17 01110301), and is also partially supported by the CDP Eco-SESA
receiving funding from the French National Research Agency under the "Investissements d'avenir" program (ANR-15-IDEX-02)..