Energy disaggregation 101: simple insights and benefits explained

Energy disaggregation, or the breakdown of your energy use based on specific appliances or devices, can give you a much more granular view of your consumption. This, in turn, can lead to more accurate insights so that you can optimise your grid and save money on your energy bills. So, let’s take a look at how this process works and why it can be such a game-changer for your home energy management.

What is disaggregation?

Energy disaggregation insightsEnergy disaggregation, also known as non-intrusive load monitoring (NILM), is the process of breaking down your home’s total energy consumption at various levels, including the appliance level. In other words, you can estimate your energy consumption, allowing you to infer energy efficiency and save on carbon emissions.

Disaggregation is calculated using advanced algorithms and machine-learning techniques on the data that is collected through your smart meter or another monitoring device. For example, procedures like NILM can use high-frequency data to identify the unique electrical signatures or load profiles associated with different electrical appliances within a building. The result is better insights into, for example, electricity usage patterns. Using this information, utility companies can, for instance, provide consumer incentives such as LED light bulbs, smart or programmable thermostats, or rebates on new appliances.

The benefits of disaggregation

Disaggregation can provide your home with multiple benefits. For instance:

  • Granular insight for efficiency: You get detailed insights into individual appliance-level energy consumption. This means you can understand usage patterns and optimise the efficiency of specific devices.
  • Cost savings through optimisation: You can identify and manage high-energy-consuming devices and make better-informed decisions that contribute to cost savings and potentially lower electricity bills.
  • Demand-side management for utilities: Utilities can also benefit from disaggregation for effective demand-side management. For example, you can understand and manage peak energy demands, optimise grid and heating system performance, and implement targeted energy-saving initiatives for your least-energy-efficient products.
  • Environmental impact and sustainability: Lastly, by identifying and optimising the usage of energy-intensive appliances, you can reduce your carbon footprint, contributing to environmental sustainability and a more eco-friendly approach to home energy consumption.

The technology behind energy disaggregation

Disaggregation relies on sophisticated techniques to analyse vast amounts of energy consumption data. Specifically, these algorithms are designed to decipher complex patterns and signatures within the data.

Unlike traditional meters, smart meters provide real-time data, allowing for more accurate and detailed analysis. So, smart meters play a pivotal role in disaggregation, too, because they continuously monitor and record your home’s energy efficiency – including fluctuations and nuances in usage.

Energy disaggregation and the energy saving trust

The Energy Saving Trust is a UK-based organisation that provides advice and information on energy efficiency and sustainable energy solutions. For example, it works with individuals, businesses, and communities to give energy advice and promote energy-saving practices and renewable sources.

As the process of energy disaggregation allows for a more detailed understanding of energy usage patterns, it can also enable targeted energy-saving measures. This is why the Energy Saving Trust, in fact, encourages the adoption of energy disaggregation technologies and solutions among consumers, businesses, and utilities. 

Energy insights for businesses

Eliq energy disaggregation

Energy companies providing disaggregation services can empower their customers, whether residential or commercial, with detailed insights into their energy usage. So, in a competitive energy market, offering disaggregation services (for example, through an energy app) can truly set your company apart, as you’ll be able to offer unique and valuable services.

Eliq is a company specialising in digital energy products that leverages energy disaggregation to provide powerful insights into energy consumption.

Through the analysis of billions of energy data points, our machine learning analytics derive insights that facilitate a transformative energy customer experience. This, in turn, can empower customers to have control over their consumption and encourage their active participation in the energy transition.

Our approach aligns with the increasing demand from residential consumers for granular and instant information about their energy consumption, allowing them to optimise their energy utilisation. Contact us today to try our demo and transform your energy customer relationship forever!