OpenControl Building by Group OpenControl
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Congratulations! Your proposal, OpenControl Building, in the Buildings contest, has been selected to advance to the Finalists round.
Be proud of your accomplishment – more than 350 proposals were submitted and only a very small number have been advanced through these two rounds of judging.
As a Finalist, your proposal is eligible for the contest’s Judges Choice award, as well as the contest’s Popular Choice award, which is determined by public voting.
If you haven’t already, you will soon receive an email from the Climate CoLab staff with details about the voting period. If you don’t receive that email within the next day, or have other questions, please contact the Climate CoLab staff at firstname.lastname@example.org
All winners will be announced the week after the voting period ends, on September 12, 2015 at midnight Eastern Time.
Both Judges Choice and Popular Choice will receive a special invitation to attend selected sessions at MIT’s SOLVE conference and present their proposals before key constituents in a workshop the next day, where a $10,000 Grand Prize will be awarded. A few select Climate CoLab winners will join distinguished SOLVE attendees in a highly collaborative problem-solving session. Some contests have additional prizes given by the contest sponsor.
Thank you for your work on this very important issue. We’re proud of your proposal, and we hope that you are too. Again, congratulations!
2015 Climate CoLab Judges
Additional comments from the Judges:
As correctly stated by the authors of the proposal, benefits of smart technologies in terms of reduction of energy use have been proved, thus their implementation is certainly an effective means to reduce energy consumption in residential buildings. Yet this measure should be introduced to further optimise high performance building, when conservation strategies have been exhausted. The provision of smart devices free of charge by energy utility companies is also not new, and the use of these technologies in countries like Germany has already define more challenging thresholds, where houses are truly responsive to environmental conditions and human behavior (e.g. Context-sensitive home automation system alphaEOS). There is a lack of details about the proposed “participate in automated demand response events” and the degree of control/power given to the company to regulate the user access to electricity: does it only refer to HVAC system usage? How to define the temperature threshold to safeguard occupant comfort and well-being? Why asking people to trade off their privacy and freedom when a similar energy reduction can be obtained through passive systems or simply more energy efficient heating/cooling devices? Limited innovation content and the ethics implications.
The focus of the proposal has shifted in focus from it's previous iteration to a larger emphasis on benefits for residential demand response-- while this is an extremely worthy goal (as the vast majority of demand response actions are in the commercial and industrial sectors) with significant potential, I wish that the author/s had gone into more detail with this idea with acknowledging prior and current efforts, structural challenges, etc. I highly encourage the author to continue linking the dots and developing this idea in more detail.
I found this proposal to be particularly interesting. At the moment in the UK smart meters are being installed in homes by utility companies ‘free of charge’. These allow occupants to see real time energy use and compare usage hour by hour, day by day, week by week etc. and critically see how much it is costing them. This is a big national programme, with 50 million meters being fitted over 6 years. Three quarters of the public in a recent survey support smart meters and the sharing of energy use data in the UK. Compare My Energy is an online tool available in the UK that compares a consumer’s energy usage with similar households in their area. It is yet to be seen how much energy is saved just by making users aware of their energy usage, but it is expected to be notable. However, at the moment energy companies cannot tap into buildings to adjust the buildings usage. I can imagine this causing some concern, at least with residential properties. However, the commercial sector I could easily see embracing this as long as the security issues were fully resolved. And on the residential side I do think it would be great if this could open a dialogue between end users and energy suppliers. I think the most novel part of the proposal the remote energy usage control by the suppliers is also the most challenging part and I would be interested to see more market research to show how supportive the target building users would be of this approach. If it worked I can see this having a far reaching impact.
The proposal addresses an important barrier for implementing Home Energy Management Systems, the investment costs, potentially offering a win-win-win situation. The authors propose a new business model instead of a new technology. I think this is the right way to move forward in implementation, to have impact. The business however model is more challenging as it needs to address both, the end customer and the supplier, being in the middle. For both sides however attractive incentives (money, flexibility etc.) are outlined. The participation in demand response events however needs to be with little or without loss of comfort otherwise it will not get accepted. A great idea and sounds quite feasible if it is possible to convince both end users and grid operators. Unfortunately no first numbers on economic feasibility are given, it remains open if grid operators are willing to for flexibility to compensate for the HEMS installation.
There is a very hot area and will be experiencing rapid change over the next few years. The security and market challenges and are significant.
I love this topic and the creative thinking – but it doesn’t yet have a “handle” to break through more than current models. Free smart thermostats that automatically control, as well as water heater controllers and air conditioning and pool pumps, have been provided free by utilities for decades. The opportunity is for a market-based approach, as this proposal suggests. Making equipment people want to buy cheaper or free in return for controllability is like websites and video games that are free in return for advertising.
Your proposal has been selected as a Semi-Finalist!
Congratulations! Your proposal, "OpenControl Building" in the Buildings contest, has been selected to advance to the Semi-Finalists round.
You will be able to revise your proposal and add new collaborators if you wish, from July 1st until July 14, 2015 at 23:59pm Eastern Time.
Judges' feedback are posted under the "Evaluation" tab of your proposal. Please incorporate this feedback in your revisions, or your proposal may not be advanced to the Finalists round. We ask you to also summarize the changes that you made in the comment section of the Evaluation tab.
At the revision deadline listed below, your proposal will be locked and considered in final form. The Judges will undergo another round of evaluation to ensure that Semi-Finalist proposals have addressed the feedback given, and select which proposals will continue to the Finalists round. Finalists are eligible for the contest’s Judges Choice award, as well as for public voting to select the contest’s Popular Choice award.
Thank you for your great work and again, congratulations!
2015 Climate CoLab Judges
The benefits of open source may be overshadowed by security concerns. Your proposal would benefit by addressing security and using examples of existing best practices with open source applications. Also, you may want to consider collaborating with the academic and research community to benefit from work that has already been done in this area. This approach has promising impact.
While this proposal contains worthy ideas, it lacks important details that would make it a strong proposal. The core ideas stated are by themselves not novel, in fact there are open source platforms that are being explored for this very purpose (such as OpenLynx for commercial buildings). So it is unclear what differentiates this proposal. In addition, the author has not sufficiently gone into more detail on the key challenges and hurdles that are faced in deploying this idea. I would however encourage the author to continue working on this proposal, as it is an idea that is definitely worth exploring.
Jul 14, 2015
Judges, Thank you for your thoughtful feedback. We are honored to have the opportunity to share and develop our concept at the Climate CoLab. Alec, Scott and I are appreciative of both your guidance in the competition as well as your professional contributions, outside of this contest, to the climate solution community. We hope that you enjoy reading our updated proposal and we look forward to reviewing your updated feedback. Sincerely, OpenSource Buildings Team
Jul 14, 2015
Judges, In response to Comment 1, we have addressed the security concerns in our “What are the proposal’s costs” section. Through academic and market research we have briefly listed the security related web development areas that our proposal (and team) would focus on, if developed. We would also work closely with the home energy management system's manufacturer on the topic of security. The partnership would utilize their experience and internal bandwidth on the subject, as noted in the proposal. In response to Comment 2, we have decided to focus on one aspect of our original proposal and to detail this. We hope that this proposal revision will offer the detail and novelty that the judges are expecting at this level. Our goal is to offer a specific market mechanism for the accelerated adoption of home energy management systems while connecting the residential market to commercial demand response networks. Thank you for your time in advance. We look forward to your feedback. Sincerely, OpenSource Buildings Team