Clustering load profiles is tricky. Even 'similar' high-resolution use patterns have little overlap, if they are slightly shifted in time. This paper applies a novel clustering approach for cumulative load profiles. Random forests walks identify explanatory variables for high peak time demand using our activity data.
Many energy models assume that women are responsible for more energy use than men. They do more housework after all. Our data challenges this assumption. While women do indeed report a higher number of household chores, their electricity demand appears to be lower. Find out what they do differently in this
open access publication.
We created a new and simplified version of the household profile for participants. This one is suitable for mobile phones as well. We also added a feature to download your personal data as a csv file for your personal use. Here is a sample
Less than half of UK citizens are happy to share location data for better heating control, and only 20% want to share it with their energy utility company. Smart solutions require more trust.
Energy Research & Social Science.
Oxford Sparks communicate Oxford Science to the wider public. Here we talk to them about our work on energy use during the lockdown.
13 May 2020 - Study, Result
This is how lockdown affects the electricity grid. What used to be a regular weekly pattern (high demand during weekdays, low at weekends) has broken down. Variability is a challenge for system operators and forecasting demand is just as important as forecasting renewable generation.
12 May 2020 - Study, Result
Gardening and recreation increase enjoyment
Since the lockdown started we see more reporting of screentime, gardening and hot drinks. Washing/showers, work and (surprisingly) reading are down. Perhaps we should read more, given that it appears even more enjoyable, especially compared to screentime.
May 2020 - Study, Result
Response to COVID-19 lockdown
The activity patters we observe have changed dramatically. On average the day starts an hour later, more activities are reported in the morning and significantly fewer during the peak demand period in the early evening. This may have profound impacts on the timing energy use.
May 2020 - Study, Result
Reduction in demand
UK electricity demand has fallen. In a historic context this reduction is roughly equivalent to the last 6 years worth of energy savings. Thanks to sunny and windy weather, the emissions of our energy use are among the lowest we have ever seen. How much of this reduction can be sustained into the future?
Apr 2020 - Study, Result
How are we coping?
For some the lockdown is easy to cope with, others face serious difficulties. Help us understand these unusual times and learn about potential long term effects at JoyMeter.uk
short article about the opportunities arising for energy research under lockdown.
Mar 2020 - Study
Lockdown changes energy use
We continue to collect data during the lockdown. While national demand is at a record low, some households will see their bills go up.
Feb 2020 - Study
Visit to Stanford
Phil visited Hilary, June, Chad and many others of our collaborators at Stanford. It is great to see our tools in use in America.
Dec 2019 - Results Publications
Energy and Behaviour
Our findings about enjoyment and electricity use are now available in book form.
See the chapter 3.1.
Nov 2019 - Publications
The Grid Edge Revolution
A white paper about the transition from centralised systems to one with lots of Ds: decarbonised, decentralised, digitised, democratised, and decoupled energy use and services.
Get the White Paper.
Oct 2019 - Results Publications
Keep calm and have a cuppa
This paper uses regression techniques to pinpoint which activities cause most electricity demand. Here is a surprise: even though having a cup of tea requires energy, having a hot drink slows us down enough to result in a net reduction during that hour. Next time we face a blackout, have a tea and
read the paper (Open access).
Sep 2019 - Study
Osney reduce by 18%
Osney island excelled in our energy challenge. When asked to reduce demand between 5pm and 7pm, they achieved a record 18%!
Our activity recorder is now available for anyone as JoyMeter
Get it on
December 2018 - Study Results
Tea or supper?
When we ask people to use less electricity in the evening, they cut down on hot meals and have a cup of tea instead.
October 2018 - Study Results
16% demand reduction
We can get a 16% reduction in electricity use, just by asking.
September 2018 - Study Results
The happiest activities
Among the most enjoyable activities are sleeping, reading and socialising. These also use very little electricity.
August 2018 - Study
West Oxford Street challenge winner
Riverside and Oatlands Road have won the West Oxford challenge by reducing their demand the most between 5 and 7pm.
July 2018 - Publications
Protecting data privacy is key to a smart energy future
A collaboration with Carissa from Philosophy (!). We spell out why trust is crucial for data sensitive approaches. Read more
July 2018 - Study
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Prof Louise Richardson, awarded Meter a high commendation in her Innovation Awards for our "Interdisciplinary study of energy use and activities". The overall winner is literally saving lives with Smart Handpumps
June 2018 - Results Publications
The footprint of household activities
One cannot simply assume that certain activities lead to higher electricity use. Read why
May 2018 - Results Publications
Daily life and demand
Dwelling and appliance variables can explain 46% of average electricity use. Can we do better? Read the paper
February 2018 - Results Publications
Flexibility, dynamism and diversity in energy supply and demand