Estfeed – safe use of smart meter data in order to lower energy costs
Estfeed is a highly secure and transparent data sharing platform developed by the Estonian transmission system operator, ELERING. It aims to connect smart meter data from various hubs and sources across Europe with energy services in order to integrate retail markets, offer new smart services and lower costs. End-consumers can keep track of their own energy consumption, and use it with comparison tools to receive personalized offers.
The story about the platform is brought by the European Technology and Innovation Platform Smart Networks for Energy Transition – ETIP SNET Energy Stories, designed to bring applications in energy transition technologies, often developed through public funding, closer to the citizen, highlighting whenever possible the direct benefits of the latest technologies to the energy consumer.*
How to use crude oil of the 21st century
Data – and especially big data – is considered the crude oil of the 21st century. But the resource is only precious if it is convertible to useful information and compatible with other sources of data upon which smarter decisions could be made.
Big data is only precious if it is convertible to useful information
For example, to choose services according to personal needs or to change behavior and lower energy costs according to more data about personal consumption patterns.
One of the main aims of EU energy policy is to integrate energy markets
Energy retail markets (selling energy to homes and businesses) are fragmented in Europe by region and by country. One of the main aims of the European energy policy is to integrate energy markets to facilitate the energy transition.
Integration of retail markets warrants all European energy companies to be on the same page when collecting and processing data
For the integration of retail markets, all European energy companies must be on the same page when collecting and processing data. It means that the basic rules of the game should be agreed. For instance, data is owned by the end-consumer who is able to access and share data with different energy service providers if she or he so chooses.
These rules have now been agreed in the European Union’s Clean Energy Package – a series of EU laws (Directives) that aim to move towards a cleaner European energy system.
Highly secure and transparent data transport layer
Estfeed is a platform aiming to connect smart meter data from various hubs and sources across Europe with energy services that want to use this data but only with end-consumer consent.
Platform enables the consumer to be in control of his or hers energy data
Basically, it is a highly secure and transparent data transport layer with a consent management system that enables the consumer to be in control of his or her energy data and to choose with whom to share data with and also have an overview who has accessed the data.
Mostly consumer smart meter data are in question. For example, how much gas or electricity each household has consumed but also produced if it has own solar panels and sells energy back to the grid. But there is more.
Estfeed gives access to stock market prices of electricity, or weather forecasts
Estfeed gives access to stock market prices of electricity, or weather forecasts, etc. Basically all data that if put together, helps energy service providers and other market players to optimize their services and develop new smarter ones.
Benefits for consumers
Estfeed enables lower energy costs, and secures that data is not misused, because the consumers manage who uses it and for what purposes.
Utility providers can offer more personalized services – which leads to better energy prices for consumers
With access to consumer personal data, smart utility providers can find different kinds of approaches to offer more personalized services – which leads to better energy prices for consumers and an increasing range of products and services they can request.
The European Commission is committed to involving consumers in the energy market as ‘prosumers’ (a consumer that also provides energy). To make this possible, it is essential to have access to the data related to their consumption and that of the energy generation of their small-scale solar panels or wind turbines.
Estfeed has already enabled end-consumers to share their data with building monitoring service providers to optimize their consumption
In terms of applications, Estfeed has already enabled end-consumers to share their data with building monitoring service providers to optimize their consumption and lower energy costs in business buildings.
It also allows end-consumers to share consumption history with energy package comparison tools and all the electricity and gas suppliers in Estonia to receive personalized offers and enable consumer switching.
Estfeed went live in September 2017 and every month there are about one thousand new end-consumers who sign-in to Estfeed customer portal to study their electricity and gas metering data and give about 500 to 1,000 consents in one month to energy suppliers or other energy services to access their data.
Energy service providers can access all electricity and gas metering points in Estonia
Energy service providers can access all electricity and gas metering points in Estonia (around 800,000 in total). But the eventual goal is much bigger.
Much international interest towards Estfeed and how to adapt it to other countries has emerged
Due to EU regulation, data protection and access requirements from the Clean Energy Package and General Data Protection Reform, much international interest towards Estfeed and how to adapt it to other countries has emerged.
Elering is setting up a Europe-wide alliance with other TSOs to start the provision of energy data access and management service in Europe. It would be worth it: the impact of a joint platform compared to everybody building their own would be to facilitate as much as EUR 2 billion savings if rolled out across the whole EU.
*European Technology & Innovation Platforms (ETIPs) have been created by the European Commission in the framework of the new Integrated Roadmap Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) by bringing together a multitude of stakeholders and experts from the energy sector.
The ETIP Smart Networks for Energy Transition (SNET) role is to guide Research, Development & Innovation (RD&I) to support Europe’s energy transition.