Onzo and Kantar Use Smart Meters to Evaluate Consumer Patterns

Smart Metering and the advertising world meet in pilot to study on household patterns using smart meter data.
Published: Tue 10 Jun 2014

London-based energy data analytics firm, Onzo, and research company Kantar, the world’s biggest advertising agency, will collaborate on a project using household energy data collected from smart meters to evaluate consumer patterns at home.

Kantar, whose clients include Coca Cola Co. and Microsoft Corp and Onzo will undertake a four- to six-month pilot study. During this time, Onzo will collect whole-house data from 15 households, who have all volunteered to participate. The data will then be analyzed using ONZO’s algorithms to understand which appliances are used, when and for how long, and what kind of patterns emerge; such as which settings are used on washing machines or microwaves.

Energy consumption data beneficial

The aim of the study is to find ways to harvest smart-meter data on household energy consumption that may be useful to customers.

Data on energy consumption from smart meters will help utilities to better match demand and supply while helping consumers save power. Companies wanting to market their products could also benefit from the information.

According to Kantar, information from appliance-usage based on energy data could be a faster, more accurate way of recording how consumers are using their non-digital household appliances. Kantar will combine this data with its own datasets about consumers, such as those related to purchasing. The company says that the new approach might reveal new insights for its clients.

Opening doors

The data has the potential to “open the door of the home,” Onzo Chief Executive Officer Joel Hagan points out, “Consumers are leaving a digital footprint that opens the door to their online habits and to their shopping habits and their location, and the last thing that is understood is the home, because at the moment, when you shut the door, that is it.”

Onzo specializes in generating insights from energy data, using advanced analytical techniques. These can infer aspects of lifestyle and identify individual appliance usage patterns from whole-house energy usage data where a smart meter or sensor is installed.

Kantar companies collectively offer the most complete view of consumers — the way they live, shop, vote, watch and tweet — in more than a hundred countries worldwide. The pilot will use Onzo’s algorithms to analyze the findings, and could potentially lead to ongoing work, explains Alex Johnson, head of innovation and new technology for Kantar.”

Onzo has raised money from investors including UK utility SSE Plc and Sigma Capital Group Plc. The company plans to raise a further 1.5 million pounds to 2 million pounds from new investors later this year.