October 2017

enCOMPASS on the Road to User Engagement

Welcome to the second newsletter of the European H2020 project enCOMPASS (Collaborative Recommendations and Adaptive Control for Personalized Energy Saving). We are working on developing digital systems and applications that make energy saving effective and easy to do for citizens, schools, building managers and utilities. In particular, we are investigating how this can happen in ways that are not only effective but also fun and uncompromising of users’ comfort.

enCOMPASS-family at project-meeting in Milano

In the first newsletter, we gave an overview of how we aim to achieve this; in case you missed it, you can still find it on our website. In the current issue, we want to update you on our progress.

Working closely with end users and stakeholders is key to ensure that we develop solutions, which deliver what users need and can work effectively in real world practice. In enCOMPASS we are involving target users and stakeholders from early on to identify user needs and requirements, verify and co-develop solution ideas. Most recently, we carried out a series of outreach workshops in all three countries of the enCOMPASS pilots (Greece, Switzerland and Germany) with all the different target groups for the enCOMPASS system (citizens, students, teachers, building and utility managers). To help the envisioning process, we created a series of storyboards and visual mockups illustrating the intended usage and functionalities of the enCOMPASS system. It was great to get from the reactions of users that we are on the right track, and even better to hear what really matters to them and what we need to do to make it really easy and effective for them to use the enCOMPASS system in their daily practice.

Impressions of enCOMPASS user requirements workshops in the pilots

As the analysis of requirements is coming to a close, user stories and requirements have been defined and the architecture design for the enCOMPASS platform is progressing, as are also the first prototypes of the individual modules, and the mechanics of the overall system approach. Furthermore, the first designs of the visualization model, the basic recommender concept, and the first techniques for user presence and activity detection are by now developed. An extensive review of the state-of-the-art on determinants of energy saving behavior, as well as different interventions and strategies to support it, is by now undertaken, the initial collection of energy saving tips built up and the evaluation methodology for the pilots specified. With this, the project has set the ground for the system development to push ahead with full force.

Some of these early results have been presented in early contributions to workshops and conferences for a timely exchange with the scientific community (e.g. at the GIoTS 2017 – the Global Internet of Things Summit, and ECGBL 2017 – the European Conference on Game-based Learning) and can be found on our website.

We have also been active at communicating and disseminating the project news and results to a wider audience through social media, and presentations at meetings and conferences for utilities, businesses and energy professionals, such as the European Utility Week 2017. To find out about such events, new developments, and where you can meet us, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Read on in this issue, to find out more about one of our pilots and our presence at the European Utility Week 2017, but also about FUNERGY, the enCOMPASS game for energy education, and some new tips for saving energy.

Jasminko Novak
enCOMPASS Pilot Director

German Pilot

At the German pilot site, three types of facilities will be researched. One of two public facilities is the municipal office in the townhall of Haßfurt. Here, the change in everyday energy activities of office visitors and personnel will be evaluated.

The enCOMPASS system is also tested in an elementary school in Haßfurt, where teachers, students and building managers are considered as the target user groups. The pupil’s parents also play a major role. They shall be engaged in energy saving measures and what actions can be done in their surroundings. This objective will be achieved with playful and curricular fitting content. The board game FUNERGY is especially developed within the project duration; many teachers are highly interested in the project and curious about its process.

Classroom in the elementary school Nassachtal in Haßfurt

Not only public facilities will be equipped with the enCOMPASS system. One hundred households in Haßfurt will be part of the pilot. The smart-home system is an open-source solution and will be deployed at the homes of participants, to collect specific data that will be processed in the context of the project.

Based on that data, users will receive notifications on how to save more energy in their residence. Additionally the opportunity is given, to visualize data and to control delivered smart home devices (e.g. heating-thermostats or smart switches) via smartphone or computer.

Smart living room sensor set-up for foreseen for German pilot

enCOMPASS at the European Utility Week

WATT+VOLT participated in the European Utility Week 2017, the annual landmark event of the European energy calendar which ties together all significant market forces and stakeholders, being so the first Greek electricity Utility to exhibit in it.

Furthermore, POLIMI presented the enCOMPASS project during a hub session.

Piero Fraternali of POLIMI is presenting the enCOMPASS project

The European Utility Week combines an international exhibition – featuring over 400 companies, a high level 3-day conference program, the participation of over 300 leading utilities, and the attendance of 12000+ smart utility experts, all under one roof.

At the WATT+VOLT booth, visitors were given the opportunity to see the fourfold award winning smart home solution “Smartwatt” (www.smartwatt.gr), which the company already offers to its customers in the Greek market.

Read more here.

FUNERGY: The enCOMPASS game for energy education

A game to teach children the importance of using energy intelligently, because “less energy, smarter living”

FUNERGY is a simple card game, integrated with an APP developed by the Politecnico di Milano, designed to engage groups of kids in a fun way and introduce some of the key themes that concern energy. At the heart of the game we have the new European Energy Scale, which serves to identify the energy consumption of our appliances, but also much more. Read more here.

During the European Conference on Games based Learning #ECGBL17 we already presented a poster on Drop! and FUNERGY: two gamified projects on water and energy conservation.

Jasminko Novak of EIPCM is presenting FUNERGY

in cooperation with Hausfrage.de