So here's another thought

Wouldn’t be surprised if this had been suggested before, but here goes.

I’m going to allocate new smart plugs to the Powerline WiFi devices I have in the house. We have a couple of 2ft thick stone walls, so we need a few of them. They use about 6.7W, so at 0.7W it’s well worth having a smart plug with a schedule - so, for example, the Powerline device in our bedroom is only scheduled on at times we’re likely to be in the room, not most of the day.

It would be a bit of a nuisance if the devices went down due to an Equivent.

So, you’re giving me an incentive to leave the thing powered on, to get points when an Equivent occurs. At approx 1kWh a week, perhaps £15 a year, it’s worth buying more plugs with a payback of less than two years, but will people see points, vouchers and free stuff instead?

So, could the app look at scheduled downtime, perhaps allocating some points calculated on the basis of what the device is measured to use normally. Maybe with bonus points when device downtime coincides with Equivents?

This would achieve power-down goals outside Equivent times as well as removing an incentive to leave devices on in order to gain points when Equivents occur.

(I’m using my Powerline network plugs just as an example. I’m sure there are other “parasitic demand” use cases where scheduled downtime multiplied by thousands, or millions of devices would result in a substantial benefit in terms of reducing peak demand.)


Definitely echos some discussions we have had internally.

What we reward is turning off your appliances in-order to balance the grid (which is unpredictable). Which does happen to also shift energy use to different times thus saving money for some even without our rewards. But I think what you’re describing is more like a reward for using less energy overall?

Currently this feature of whether downtime coincides with equivent is captured by smart meter where we measure a baseline/forecast and any reduction the household makes during that period can be rewarded independent of smart plugs…so in the case you’re describing, the reductions may be too small to captured by smart meter…

The principle method of how we reward users is by reducing loads that are switched off unplanned…we can not reward planned reduction of loads that coincides with equivents because this doesn’t help the energy companies.

We also don’t want to encourage users to keep devices ON in the hope of winning a reward as this adds unnecessary costs to your energy bill…

Mahen, “But I think what you’re describing is more like a reward for using less energy overall?”


What I was describing was a scenario where a user thinks “I have a plug bar/appliance/TV I know I only use at certain times of the day… but if I leave it on all day, I get points for equivents… I’ll just leave it on all day.” (Even though in many cases the value of the points may be less than the cost of electricity to leave the device on all day.)

It’s a form of “gaming the system” I guess. I would predict people will do it, especially in households where the techy kid enthusiast is allowed a bit too much free reign.

I don’t know if you could do something like looking at the average daily usage reported by the plug, and award points proportionate to expected usage, even if the plug happens to be scheduled off at that time. There is a reduction in that a load that would normally be present at the time of the Equivent is not there - it just happens to be not there because of the plug’s schedule instead of the event… I know this is splitting hairs and the electricity supplier will not see an actual reduction at this point.

BTW I still think the other feature I mentioned to you - the ability to schedule Equivent prevention times - could enable a lot more participation by kitchen TVs, living room plug-bars etc.