Prosumers - consumers that produce their own energy can make a huge contribution to energy systems. But the transition from consumer to prosumer is still on its way. A study by CE Delft found in their maximum self-sufficiency scenario that by 2050 most countries can cover over 50% of electricity demand for household with prosumer technology. Great in theory but how do we get there in practice? What is holding us back?
Natasha Morgan, Senior Commercial Manager at Lunar Energy, highlights the importance of giving end users transparency and control. "The average energy customer spends 7-9 minutes per year trying to understand their energy bills," she says. "Whilst we as insiders get what needs to happen, this is a pretty exclusive club...I think this lack of understanding comes from a lack of transparency in the system...there is no exposure to price volatility for end consumers and that’s a massive problem because customers aren’t going to think about when they use their power, why would they? There is no value associated with that. They only think about perhaps how much do I use over a certain time period. And that means that they aren’t thinking about optimization and although us insiders know that, as part of the energy transition its more important when we use our power over how much, end customers and retail offerings are fundamentally not aligned with giving that sort of level of transparency."
Jannik Schall, Co-Founder & CPO, 1KOMMA5°, says, "the answer to making the prosumer proposition more interesting for customers is to make it simple, this is quite obvious right? We need an integrated solution and especially if you talk about the solution of solar and heat, you don’t want to deal with different companies, you want everything from one hand."
Friedrich Rojahn, Founder & Managing Director of Solandeo, touches on the role of new technology like gamification. "Where I do think gamification does have a role to play is on the efficiency-side of things," he says. "This is where social benchmarking can play a really valuable role and that allows you to optimise demand against the local flexibility and the local generation you do have, again driven by the same data because you’re saying here’s how you compare to other customers."
Kristijan Jarc, Chief Digital Officer at Salzburg AG, says, "the question is how we can we get into interactions. Can we combine it with: can I charge my car and I can see my PV together?" They have the vision to build a full-service app with the simplicity and user-friendliness that we know from banking.