Low-income consumers pay a disproportionately high amount of their earnings for the energy needed to light, heat and cool their homes – often three times more (relative to their incomes) than the general population. At the same time, they do not have the financial resources to invest in energy efficiency programs. These are key findings from a survey by Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative, the US nonprofit organization aimed at learning energy consumers’ calls.
Would smart technologies support utilities in better addressing the needs of low-income consumers? Our PE Smart Urban Network allows utilities and multi-utility companies to cost-effectively manage gas, electricity and water distribution networks, enabling remote meter reading and granting superior and real time visibility over distribution architectures. Resulting in lower costs, benefits in terms of efficiency and effectiveness could be transfered to consumers, with a special focus on low-income targets.
Moreover, Paradox Engineering is partnering the enCOMPASS project to develop smart technologies to save energy and favour sustainable behaviours. In Gambarogno (Switzerland), two public buildings and about 100 residential houses have been equipped with a smart metering infrastructure to remotely monitor energy use. Energy data are being collected and analyzed in real time, providing users with suggestions to be more efficient without sacrificing individual comfort.