ALICE home assistant enters trials aimed at helping consumers go low carbon at low cost

Amp X is set to trial an autonomous digital energy assistant in 50 Living Lab homes run by Energy Systems Catapult, aiming to help households to reduce the cost and carbon intensity of their energy and ultimately lead to peer-to-peer trading.

The ‘behind-the-meter’ technology is called ALICE: Agent for Lifestyle-based Intelligent Control of Energy.It will learn the preferences of residents – such as what time they need their electric vehicle charged in the morning or target temperatures for heating different rooms.

Using a combination of machine-learning, data analytics and control systems,ALICE will make autonomous demand-side-response decisions based on market signals, such as calls from network operators for additional flexibility to manage grid constraints, changes to the carbon intensity of the electricity grid, or time-of-use tariffs. It will determine the best schedule to minimise cost and carbon for households, while delivering services to the electricity grid.

Energy Systems Catapult will provide consumer insights to Amp X about how Living Lab residents experience the technology.

Dr Irene Di Martino, Head of Amp X, said: “Consumer engagement is a key barrier to demand‐response as a scalable non‐wire‐alternative. The Amp X digital energy assistant will cater simultaneously for consumer preferences and grid needs, delivering demand‐side‐management at a very large scale through the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning.”She added, “Part of what we are wanting to validate with Energy Systems Catapult is what features of our solution work best for different user‐types and properties (ecosystems).”

The Living Lab uses a range of housing types and consumer demographics spread around the UK and ungraded with digital connectivity, so UK businesses can test low carbon innovations in real-world conditions and scale for market. With room-by room digital control and sensors monitoring performance, the Living Lab can gather and analyse real world data such as energy consumption, air temperatures, relative humidity and local weather.

Living Lab analysis of the ALICE digital energy assistant aims to help Amp X test:

  • The potential for the digital energy assistant to facilitate demand-side response, provide carbon savings and reduce energy consumption providing associated savings.
  • The consumer experience, pt and feedback on ease of  installation and removal, usability and the quality of the consumer interface.
  • The interface between the digital energy assistant and a variety of in-home devices including electric vehicles, smart meters, appliances, and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning controls.