Launch of the iFLEX project

The goal of the innovation project iFLEX is to make it easy and attractive for energy consumers to participate in demand responseDemand Response Intentional change of normal consumption patterns by energy consumers in response to external price signals (implicit DR) or incentives to reduce or increase consumption (explicit DR). Both operations can be automated. programs tailored to the needs of a renewable energy system. To achieve this, the project is developing an intelligent assistant in collaboration with three European pilots and 600 consumers.

Imagine a situation where you benefit from lower electricity prices, smarter energy management and improved sustainability by being a flexible energy consumer who offers to adjust consumption patterns according to the status of the energy system and its supply. The operation can be automated for convenience and also takes into account your personal preferences ensuring comfort and stability.

This is the consumer experience that iFLEX is setting the scene for by introducing the iFLEX Assistant – an innovative software agent which supports consumers in managing when and how to be flexible by acting between them and their energy systems, various stakeholders and external systems, handling all the complexity of interactions.

‘Using ground-breaking technology within Artificial Intelligence, the iFLEX Assistant creates a digital twin of the consumers which learns and adapts to the consumption behaviour, control policies and system dynamics with the possibility of automating the decision-making. The latter is particularly desirable when you have an energy system of fluctuating renewables which calls for continuous and close to real-time demand response’, explains Project Manager Markus Taumberger from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

To accommodate for both the similarities and differences in the design of the iFLEX Assistant, the project provides a common software framework for developing assistant applications which can be customised to specific needs, incentives and market structures. This allows for a wider reach and exploitation of the solution in different European countries.

User-centric approach

The iFLEX framework and corresponding iFLEX Assistants will be demonstrated in Slovenia, Finland and Greece, each setting with a different focus area but all with a high penetration of renewable energy.  More than 600 consumers will be involved in the pilots, which mainly consist of private households and apartment buildings but also include commercial consumers such as small industries and supermarkets.

Since the energy consumer is a determining factor in the creation of a personalised demand response, the project applies a user-centric, co-creation approach, involving consumers alongside other energy stakeholders in the design of the flexibility management service. Special focus is on the user experience, covering not only usability aspects but also analysing the motivational drivers and barriers.

‘With a development approach centred around the user and the experience, you are more likely to end up with a service, which people want to invest in and use’, concludes Markus Taumberger.

Whereas electricity is the main focus point of the pilots, the project seeks to overcome the current silo-approach and provide holistic energy management, coupling electricity with other energy forms such as heating and cooling for a more complete energy optimisation.

Share it

Validating iFLEX flexibility management and energy optimisation

In the last phase of the project, the focus is on validating the iFLEX Assistant deployed in each pilot and on demonstrating the optimisation of the energy usage in the participating households and residential buildings, based on the activation of demand response events.

New video out

Check out what energy flexibility is about in this [...]

iFLEX Assistant mobile app

The iFLEX mobile app helps you manage your home energy consumption, energy flexibility and energy performance. Check out the functions in the video.

iFLEX at Enlit Europe 2022

Enlit Europe connects people who work towards the common goal: To deliver a clean, affordable and reliable energy for all. Find us in the European Projects Zone.

Two iFLEX papers accepted in IEEE SmartGridComm’22

The papers cover the analysis of the incentive mechanisms in the Slovenian and Greek pilots and have been produced by Athens University of Economics and Business – the Services, Technologies and Economics Group.

Testing the iFLEX concept

To investigate consumer acceptance of the iFLEX concept, the project has conducted a public survey in the three pilot countries. The results show a general positive attitude towards offering energy flexibility and using iFLEX to manage it, as long as it does not conflict with comfort and the feeling of being in control.

Join us at Sustainable Places 2022

iFLEX is co-organising a workshop on consumer-user engagement in the design of energy flexibility services. Join us on 8th September for some real-life experiences and exchange of knowledge and ideas.

What is happening in BRIDGE

Take a look at the recent conclusions and recommendations from the BRIDGE community on how to unlock energy flexibility in Europe.

Offering the thermal capacity of apartment buildings

The Finnish pilot investigates how apartment buildings can contribute to both power grid and district heating system balance by offering the thermal capacity of the building as a flexibility resource. The role of the iFLEX Assistant is to learn the behaviour of the building in order to forecast available flexibility and to automate the demand-response operations.

Managing electricity price signals

The Slovenian pilot looks at dynamic pricing as a means of adjusting electricity consumption behaviour, signalling to consumers and prosumers when it is best to consume energy. The role of the iFLEX Assistant is to make it easy for consumers and prosumers to manage their response to the price signals.

Get updates by subscribing to our newsletter

Go to Top