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UK Insights

Making smart meters smarter

Sunando Das

Head of marketing analytics and data science

Digital 24.08.2015 / 12:44

Washing machine on Eco

Kantar looks into the power of energy usage data

Every day smart meters, don't actually provide insights into exactly what is going on in the home and what can be done to reduce energy consumption. Kantar wanted to try to make smart meters smarter, by partnering with ONZO, a utility data science software company, to detect the 'signature' of specific appliances.

The project involved analysing the results of smart-meters to identify not just the different appliances being used, but also the modes that those appliances were being used in. For example, the team were able to detect the 'signatures' of different washing machine cycles. Looking at three households with the same profile, the team found that one family was consuming three times more energy than the other two. The culprit for high energy consumption was the washing machine set permanently to the 'cotton' setting, and never being run on the 'eco' setting. Such findings help in targeting relevant households with personalised messaging to drive behavioural change and identifying ways to drive sustainability, high on agenda of Government bodies and corporates. 

The team found they could infer consumer lifestyles based on appliance usage patterns. They could also get a clear understanding of particular segments of society. For example, people who cook more from scratch on weekdays tend to cook between specific time-slots, allowing for better 'in the moment' targeting.

Unsurprisingly, detection using the smart meters was more accurate that the results of the diaries or surveys that the households were asked to complete, but it's when the energy meter data is integrated with other data sources, such as search, social or purchase data, that there is the potential to transform consumer insights.

There is lot of speculation around how Internet of Things (IoT) will transform marketing of the future. Energy data is one form of IoT enabled passive data with potential to transform consumer insights and is available today for us to harness.

Source : Kantar

Editor's Notes

Sunando Das and his colleague, Alex Johnson, Director, Innovation & New Technologies at Kantar, led this project with ONZO. To find out more about the work Kantar is doing around the Internet of Things (IoT), please contact us.

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