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The UK's largest collection of digital research data in the social sciences and humanities

Smart Energy Research Lab (SERL)

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) have funded a five-year project to develop a Smart Energy Research Lab (SERL) to provide vital access to energy data for the UK research community.

If you have received a letter inviting you to participate in SERL please go to the SERL website.

Formerly known as the Smart Meter Research Portal (SMRP), this project will offer the ability to access reliable, high-resolution gas and electricity energy data at a national scale through the development of a portal for researchers to access smart meter data. The project responds to opportunities in the UK provided by the investment of some £11 billion devoted to installing 53 million smart electricity and gas meters in domestic and small non-domestic properties by 2020.

Currently the best available domestic energy data is estimated using measures of annual consumption from infrequent and often estimated meter readings. This data has, over the last five years, been used by researchers and government to help assess the effectiveness of energy efficient technologies and help plan for a low carbon energy system. The introduction of smart meters offers the potential to examine more reliable gas and electricity data, collected at least every half hour, which offers great opportunities for researchers to:

  • develop better methods of disaggregating energy use by appliance
  • produce more reliable energy labels at lower costs
  • help identify fuel-poor households
  • facilitate demand side response to help balance the electricity grid
  • help identify the most appropriate energy efficiency measures for a property
  • produce new products and services for consumers
  • develop more appropriate policies for government

One of the strengths of the UK Smart Meter programme is that energy consumers own their own data, and new consent is required by home owners for the portal to provide governed access to half hourly data, prioritising consumers' rights and security.

Role: The UK Data Archive is responsible for scoping and developing a mechanism and technical facility for linking smart meter data to data collected as part of national surveys, field trials, and administrative data, through robust governance protocols. A Hadoop ecosystem provides the technical platform.
Investigators: Jon Johnson
Funder: £6m from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Dates: Mid-2017 to mid-2022
Contact: Darren Bell, Jon Johnson