• You can now browse Meter data
  • Meet our new data scientist
  • The app replaces paper diaries
  • Over 16 million electricity readings (about 4500 hours)
  • Nearly 6000 fully coded activities

Next Steps

  • Expert Workshop on Data and Data Sharing in June
  • Recruit participants which are currently under-represented

Read more about recent developments in the latest Meter Reading


  • Over 400 households registered within weeks of launching the project in May
  • So far we collected over 6 million electricity readings (nearly 2000 hours worth)
  • 1250 activities have been translated from booklets to the database, with lots more in progress
  • We are looking for a Data Scientist to join us (Deadline 14 Oct) - Please share
  • The app is in the final stages of testing. It will make activity recording and coding significantly easier
  • A visualisation interface is being developed to explore electricity profiles and activities

Next Steps

  • The app will be deployed to the first participants
  • We will increase the rate of participants per week over the winter
  • A second workshop will be held to review initial data and methods
  • Appoint a Data Scientist to support the study

Read more about recent developments in the latest Meter Reading


Ready for deployment: the first shipment of current clamps

Ready for deployment: Meter current clamps

Next Steps

  • Invite participants to online household survey and trial
  • Complete graphical profile interface with annotation option
  • Refine the activity app (target completion: autumn 2016)
  • Publish papers on methodology
  • Recruit team members (Admin support and PDRA)

In brief

The primary aim of the first six months was to engage a large number of key experts. I am please to report that this has been very successful - so much so that I decided to hold back on data collection and instead refine the process based on all the valuable feedback and expert guidance.

A big thank you to all advisers and workshop participants. Key changes include:

  • Extension of the sample duration. Participants will now start recording activities at 5pm, rather than 4am, and finish the next evening, thus capturing two 5-7pm ‘peak’ periods. Electricity will be recorded for this duration and longer as battery life permits.
  • Replacing ‘10 min’ periods with ‘instantaneous’ reporting. Professor Kajsa Ellegard convinced me that this is a better approach.
  • Collection of ‘enjoyment’ indicators. The last round of national time-use collection showed that collecting ‘enjoyment’ information increased participant retention (as well as producing valuable insights).
  • Expansion of household and individual survey, addition of post-collection annotation of load data. More information will be collected before and after the trial.

The electricity recorders have been field tested. A quality issue with the first batch of current clamps (custom assemblies from China) lead to intermittent recordings. This issue has been addressed by re-soldering the devices with higher spec parts. About 30 devices have been deployed in households to date.

Peter Warren from DECC has joined the advisory panel. DECC look for robust evidence on the success of different incentives to encourage households to reduce energy at critical times and contribute to UK energy security.


The aim for the first six months was to speak (and listen) to experts to ensure good alignment of Meter with national needs. The following has taken place:

  • Hosted an Expert Workshop attended by 30 excellent participants
  • Attended 3 meetings at DECC, one specifically convened to present the project
  • Presented evidence to Energy and Climate Change Select committee
  • Gave talks at DEMAND centre and Lancaster Energy on 3 day visit
  • Invited speaker at White Rose Energy Symposium (Sheffield)
  • Met with Nest at Google HQ
  • Spoke at EPSRC impact event at Said Business School
  • Convened session at CAG skillshare workshop

Attended the following relevant events:

  • HubNet Expert Workshop on DSR
  • CNTUR dissemination event
  • Realising Transition Pathways dissemination event
  • EU working group on customer engagement (H2020)
  • UKERC General Meeting
  • Integrating Renewables (Oxford Energy)
  • Energy systems challenges in a world in transition (UKERC)

The following experts were met individually:

    Andrea Leadsom (MP, Minister of State DECC), Kajsa Ellegard (Linkoeping), Harriet Bulkeley (Durham), Charlie Wilson (UEA) and Lina Stankovic (Strathclyde), Jim Skea (Imperial), Kevin Lane (Consultant), Jim Watson (UKERC), Patrick Grant (Oxford), Jim Hall (Oxford) and Michael Harrison (DECC)

Design of research


Old and new eMeter casing

Old and new eMeter casing

  • eMeter app - fully tested version. GitHub: DMon
  • Trialled in over 30 households
  • Current clamps - Chinese supplier, first batch had poor quality jacks, solution found and implemented
  • Interface - developed python tool for phone / database / diary processing based on npyscreen forms GitHub: Meter interface
  • Envelopes - Free Business Reply arrangement with Royal Mail, custom envelopes printed
  • Casing - designed and received 300 custom cardboard flatpack cases, plus stickers. They can be reused several times. At £1.80 per item smudged cases can be retired to maintain a clean appearance.

Meter app

Prototype Activity Reporting App

Prototype Activity Reporting App

  • Worked closely with Davide Zilli (Oxford, Engineering)
  • Interface to enter individual survey and activities
  • Simple and robust 6 button framework proved very verstile
  • Developed in Cordova with JSON structure for activities tree
  • Prototype on github
  • Remaining work: design, trialling, refining… many happy months


  • Project data now hosted on Linode server
  • MySQL database (may consider move to MongoDB)
  • Moved from CentOS to Ubuntu (better support)
  • Data structure has been iteratively refined. See latest version of the data strucure



  • Registered domains: energy-use.org, energy-use.uk , energy-use.ox.ac.uk
  • Apache server, content management bootstrap and php
  • Extended to python on flask to display interactive data visualisation
  • A huge thank you to Simon Abele for his support
  • Configured a virtual development environment

Participant material

People power animation

“People power” animation

  • Activity booklet updated in response to expert input. Individual survey included, 10min prescription dropped, enjoyment column included, ‘who you were with’ simplified. ( Old version for comparison). The confusing page order is for booklet printing.
  • Promotional flyer developed, printed (500) and distributed at events
  • Working with Oxford Sparks and Scriberia to produce an animation explaining the project to a wide audience. Developed script, storyboard and animation. Expected completion in April.
  • Online interactive interface to interrogate and annotate participant data: framework developed in Python Bokeh, still considerable development work. See sample.


  • ICE paper on “Electricity storage: realising the potential
  • Demand conference: “Flexibility in Supply and Demand”
  • Behave abstract: “A review of demand side models”
  • BIEE abstract 1: “How disruptive could storage be?”
  • BIEE abstract 2: “What do we use all that electricity for?”

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under the Early Career Fellowship scheme. Ref. EP/M024652/1.