New WICKED plan to help businesses manage energy use

Retailers are paying higher energy bills than they need to – even those using smart meters – because they are “not actively managing” their energy use. That’s according to researchers […]

Register now!

By Priyanka Shrestha

Retailers are paying higher energy bills than they need to – even those using smart meters – because they are “not actively managing” their energy use.

That’s according to researchers at Oxford University, who believe businesses with smart meters could be swamped by the amount of information they have to analyse while those using manually-read meters are only checking them quarterly or annually.

They are seeking to work with retailers, energy suppliers, business support groups and energy advice companies to find more efficient ways of managing energy use.

It’s part of a new project called WICKED (Working with Infrastructure, Creation of Knowledge and Energy strategy Development) funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The research team will combine their expertise in energy use, maths, computing, engineering, physics, law and organisational behaviour and use empirical research and big data analytics for the programme.

Dr Kathryn Janda from Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute said the team’s “smart-er meters” will also measure energy services, allowing firms to see the breakdown of energy use, divided up into areas such as light, heat and building humidity.

She added: “By using big data analytics, we will turn numbers into knowledge and provide retailers of all sizes with actionable insights to how they could use energy more wisely… The project promises real business potential in helping to cut energy bills and reduce energy consumption in the long term.”