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Using human-centred design to improve energy efficiency programs

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Human-centred design is being used to make the NSW energy savings scheme more effective. We started with research that identified six key insights for improved scheme operation. It found that the scheme is complex and its fragmented tools and systems create unnecessary barriers to entry. We then used workshops to develop six corresponding opportunities for improved service delivery. To scale up we need streamlined manual processes, more collaboration and improved digital systems. This is especially relevant given recent announcements that the scheme is being extended to 2050.

This talk will present the research, and will place it in the context of changes announced as part of the NSW Energy Strategy. It will explore small, medium and long term changes to scheme delivery identified through the HCD process and our proposed next steps.

The NSW Energy Savings Scheme started in 2009. It has so far delivered projects that will save 27,000 gigawatt hours of energy and $5.6 billion in bill savings over their lifetimes.

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Using human-centred design to improve energy efficiency programs

  1. 1. 12 March 2020 Using human-centred design to improve energy efficiency programs
  2. 2. • David Pryor, Senior Team Leader in the Energy Markets team, NSW Department of Planning Industry and Environment (DPIE). • 14 years experience in development and delivery of energy savings programs in NSW. • Leading a small team responsible for: • developing rules for the Energy Savings Scheme (ESS) • linking the ESS to other NSW programs to help remove barriers to take-up, and • investigating opportunities to modernise and scale scheme delivery to meet future targets. • Formerly at the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) working on administration and compliance of the Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme (GGAS) and the ESS. • I mostly talk about cycling, surfing, space opera and kids Introduction • Introductions • The Energy Security Safeguard • The problem we are trying to solve • ‘Digital Landscape’ research and its outcomes • What we learned Agenda
  3. 3. The Energy Savings Scheme (ESS) is a statutory scheme working towards building a sustainable energy-efficiency market. The scheme is coordinated by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) and is administered by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). It provides incentives to encourage investment in energy efficiency to reduce energy use and lower costs within households, businesses and industry. How it works: • Energy users work with an accredited provider on energy saving projects. • The provider claims Energy Savings Certificates for energy savings. • Certificates are sold to energy retailers and others to help them meet legislated energy savings targets of 8.5% of NSW electricity sales. Energy Savings Scheme Impact: Over 14,000 GWh has been saved between 2009 and 2018. 17,000 GWh of savings have been locked in for the ten years from 2019 to 2028. In 2018 (calendar year), nearly 2,700 GWh electricity is estimated to have been saved.
  4. 4. The new Energy Security Safeguard
  5. 5. The Energy Security Safeguard Detailed NSW Electricity Strategy (p.28) https://energy.nsw.gov.au/government-and-regulation/electricity-strategy 1. The first component of the Safeguard will involve • expanding the existing Energy Savings Scheme to 2050, • with targets increasing gradually up to 13 per cent by 2030, and • expanded set of activities which reduce demand on electricity and gas networks, including substituting gas for biomass. 2. The second component of the Safeguard will involve • establishing a new certificate scheme for the deployment of peak demand reduction technologies, • such as batteries, smart pool pumps and electric vehicle chargers • that enable electricity demand to be shifted away from peak periods.
  6. 6. The problem we are trying to solve
  7. 7. ESS Rule Change Consultation Forum – August 2019 What are the three words you would use to describe the ESS as it is right now? Where do you see the ESS five years from now?
  8. 8. ‘Digital Landscape’ research and what we are doing with the outcomes
  9. 9. Context The following work has been co-created in collaboration with DPIE, IPART, certificate creators and Auditors working within the ESS. It is reseach that does not represent the NSW Government's view
  10. 10. The Vision
  11. 11. Accelerate verifiable energy savings, and future-proof the ESS for a changing energy landscape. Our vision:
  12. 12. Approach
  13. 13. Project Context – Brief Over 4 weeks, Mentally Friendly conducted research to understand the ESS, and identify opportunities to improve its operation. To do this we explored; Research with scheme participants The role of each stakeholder, how they currently operate and their current perspectives on the scheme. Current state tools & processes The range state of tools and processes used by stakeholders, where they fall down and how we can improve them. Impact of rule change process The impact that rule changes have on stakeholders and how we can better prepare stakeholders for this.
  14. 14. Research Approach 72 hours of deep dive interviews & workshops with scheme participants Great care has been taken to involve a diverse range of: • Roles including auditors, registry managers, directors and frontline staff. • Digital-readiness including paper-based to fully automated/digital certificate providers. • Business models used by certificate providers including aggregators, end-to-end and whole-of- cycle. • Locations including NSW, VIC and QLD (with considerable experience in the ESS)
  15. 15. Opportunities to improve Together we co-designed and assessed six opportunity areas:
  16. 16. Research Approach Roles in the scheme Administrators IPART Legislators DPIE Certificate Providers ACPs • Rules are fit for purpose • Scheme works as a whole • • Commercial success and confidence in the scheme Constructive improvements to the scheme • Regulate through building an effective compliance culture • Ensure a level playing field Quality Assurance Documentation Installer Auditors
  17. 17. Key Insights and opportunities -
  18. 18. Tools and systems are fragmented 02. Six key insights: 01. Significant time is spent on manual tasks 04. Rule changes are missing consistent and effective feedback loops Expansion of the scheme is prevented by siloed data 05. 03. Certificate providers aren’t equipped to interpret rule changes Complexity prevents end users from engaging 06.
  19. 19. Opportunity 01 Streamline manual data processes Opportunity 04 A more transparent and collaborative rule change process Opportunity 02 A single source of truth platform to view and maintain verified energy savings Opportunity 05 More effective measurement and verification of energy savings Opportunity 03 Smart legislation that is human readable and can be modelled with stakeholders Opportunity 06 Bring energy savings closer to the end user Six Opportunity Areas:
  20. 20. “Interaction with the online portals is time- consuming; it’s incredibly manual.” – ACP “It’s up to the ACP to fill in the [evidence pack] sheet correctly.” – ACP Key insight: 1 of 6 Significant time is spent on manual tasks Manual tasks compromise the accuracy of data, as many steps make room for error. Excessive time spent on manual tasks takes away focus from actually delivering energy efficiency. Evidence of energy savings is required for the creation of certificates and the requires significant manual effort (and transcription).
  21. 21. “We rely entirely on these [Registry] emails, they’re really the only way we know that certificates have been registered.” So what you’ll find is [the Portal] status here is slow to change, and is currently saying that these certificates aren’t registered — but we've got the email confirmation showing proving that they are. – ACP “Now we have to get a whole bunch of systems all syncing together. And that's what makes using the registry as a source of truth, such a high stakes thing for us because we want to just make sure everything matches up.” – ACP Key insight: 2 of 6 Tools and systems are fragmented There’s no unified view that connects to a job site to an energy savings certificate, making it difficult to track the entire lifecycle of a project. There’s confusion and ambiguity among on the role of the different administrative systems [ESS Portal and Registry]. Certificate providers want a single source of truth.
  22. 22. Key Benefits: Opportunity Area 01 Streamline manual data processes Reduce the overall effort for multiple stakeholders to assess and verify data by digitising and automating manual processes. Supporting Evidence: “Double handling of data inputs creates inefficiencies” – ACP “A document might travel from an installer, to an ACP then used in an audit - but data is degraded” – IPART “We have to consider how much less energy savings occur in a paper-based system” – DPIE • • Legislator - Improve the accuracy and overall quality of data Administrator - Automation of data verification reduces manual overhead of ACPs to verify • Implementer - Improve the consistency of reporting on implementation data Key Risks: • Standardised process doesn’t meet the needs of everyone • Increased manual verification of automated data processes • New processes doesn’t deliver better quality outcomes - value /effort
  23. 23. Key Benefits: Opportunity Area 02 A single source of truth platform to view and maintain verified energy savings Create a unified platform for energy savings, to support future expansion of the scheme. Supporting Evidence: “There is no single source of truth” – ACP “[We could use the ESS Portal to] validate a lot more things before they actually become a problem. – IPART “We use 13 or 14 different systems just to manage commercial lighting certificates” – ACP • • Enables the ability to target new markets for ESS to expand Drives efficiencies - reduces manual data processes and systems to maintain • Faster & more easily verified energy savings Key Risks: • If functionality is expanded, there is a risk of not meeting everyone's need • Cost of developing a solution outweighs the return • New system makes ACP technology redundant
  24. 24. 2. Single source of verified energy savings • Develop a user-centred prototype platform to view and maintain verified energy savings. 1. Streamline manual data processes • Work with IPART to develop an upgraded portal and registry, designed to support the new Safeguard and increased certificate creation. Opportunities Testing these proto-type opportunities will inform the business case for future platforms to support certificate creation! What happens next?
  25. 25. “Complexity of scheme prohibits obvious interpretation, (this means) it’s difficult to interpret rule changes and the impact on business – ACP “Without going into plain English there may be more meaningful ways of explaining legislation … Perhaps giving an example [of how this affects ESCs].” – Auditor Key insight: 3 of 6 Certificate providers aren’t equipped to interpret rule changes Rule changes are difficult to interpret for people with a technical rather than a legal background. People may not fully understandng the impact of rule changes, but commercial reality means they must proceed with their best guess.
  26. 26. “Trying to get feedback in one day is not adequate given the complexity” – ACP “I wouldn’t want any more updates to the rule, it’s difficult enough as it is to keep across.” – ACP “More frequent updates to the rule create more admin work for everyone… there can be delays due to other agencies or data not being available.” – DPIE Key insight: 4 of 6 Rule changes are missing consistent and effective feedback loops It is time-consuming and often difficult to determine how rule changes will impact those on the ground. Low involvement from end-users and tradespeople makes assessment of frontline impacts difficulte. The frequency of minor rule changes increases administrative effort.
  27. 27. Key Benefits: Opportunity Area 03 Smart legislation that is human readable and can be modelled with stakeholders Develop legislation that is clear to understand and model the impact of rule changes on the scheme Supporting Evidence: “If they make that up in isolation without stakeholders, you’re like — are you kidding? That means my guy has to be up on a ladder, in the ceiling, then he has to let go to take a picture…” – ACP “Installers are a long way away from the space regulated by IPART. Certificate creation is not their job, but they are often responsible for collecting and passing on all required information.” – DPIE • Modelling the impact of a rule change on stakeholders before it’s rolled out • Reduced ambiguity & interpretation issues leads to lower effort & cost to manage • Better fit of rules to real world problems Key Risks: • Is it possible for legislation to be human readable? • Resources required to establish & maintain this system • Still requires human intervention to review code & data • May require greater responsiveness & resources
  28. 28. “Changes are made to policy that we can’t anticipate how this will impact ACPs” – DPIE “I don’t feel like our voice is heard” – ACP “There is minimal interaction with front-line staff - Installers” – DPIE “There isn’t guidance material available on the day of the rule change… so it's up to us to interpret the rule.” – ACP Key Benefits: Opportunity Area 04 Transparent and collaborative rule change process Create consistent feedback loops throughout the rule change process, so that all scheme participants understand their impact Supporting Evidence: • Shorter timeframe between development of policy intent & implementation • Deeper understanding of the problems & how they can be solved • Create feedback loops with stakeholders so that they feel heard & better understand their impact Key Risks: • We aren’t considering all perspectives feedbacks - its not possible to involve everyone • Require more time & resources from stakeholders to contribute • Key learnings aren’t scaled the network - other ACPs are aware
  29. 29. 4. A more transparent and collaborative rule change process • Investigate the Better Rules framework (New Zealand) – could it work here? • Improve the process of consulting and drafting rules so they’re more human and machine readable. 3. Smart legislation that is human readable • Work with the NSW Department of Customer Service on Rules as Code. • Our first step is to develop a digital version of small parts of the ESS rules (the NABERS method) and test it with users. What happens next? We are building in more opportunity for collaboration as we prepare the next rule changes. We are also extending our ambition to code the whole rule and make APIs available Opportunities
  30. 30. “We just don’t have access to that data, it doesn’t exist. We can’t link the number of ESCs with a particular site.” – DPIE “[Lighting] Energy savings will hit a ceiling, and we need to be able to transfer that process.” – DPIE Key insight: 5 of 6 Expansion of the scheme is prevented by siloed data Lack of data is a barrier to identifying new sectors Information captured today isn’t ‘clean’ — it can be missing key information, preventing meaningful insights from being extracted. Without a way to analyse existing and emerging scheme activities, it is harder impacts.
  31. 31. “We’ve come up against an issue where a customer, on their own, sought reimbursement from their landlord; and had no clue that would contravene that reimbursement clause. And that has resulted in a significant number of certificates being up for forfeit.” – ACP “Calculations have become so complex, it’s tricky to give a customer an answer on the spot.” – ACP “Complexity in the scheme prevent small businesses from understanding and participating” – DPIE Key insight: 6 of 6 Complexity prevents end users from engaging The scheme is complex to explain and understand Reduces the ability for end users to understand their role and what’s required of them. The requirements of certificate providers are also complex, and are difficult to convey to an end user.
  32. 32. “Better data allows us to test policy in real world scenarios” - DPIE “We can directly measure our year on year savings and compare this to our initial estimates” - ACP Key Benefits: Opportunity Area 05 More effective measurement & verification of energy savings Remove redundant and unnecessarily complex requirements to verify energy savings, while ensuring that the scheme remains fair and effective. Supporting Evidence: • Testing policy & method changes with real data could allow for better implementation • Further savings for the end- user leveraging data from metered products • Builds a case for funding & expansion of the scheme Key Risks: • Increasing accuracy often means increasing complexity; more room for error • More rules and requirements mean greater responsibility & risk of non compliance • Depending on design, simply more M&V may be more prohibitive
  33. 33. “The objective of the scheme is to help people save energy” - ACP “We need greater education & awareness of the scheme” - ACP Key Benefits: Opportunity Area 06 Bring energy savings closer to the end user Lower the barrier to entry for end users and reduce the unnecessary complexity, to encourage more participants and drive behaviour change. Supporting Evidence: • Increased awareness & involvement from the end- user will drive more energy savings • Real-time savings drive behavior change if it is linked to ongoing incentives • More awareness and education of the ESS could increase uptake Key Risks: • No incentive for energy providers to identify opportunities for energy savings • End-user is just not interested in ESS and only wants the saving • New system designed to support customers introduces new problems
  34. 34. 6. Bring energy savings closer to the end user • Investigate Pay 4 Performance (P4P) programs in collaboration with other Australian and International EEO schemes. 5. Better measurement and verification (M&V) of energy savings • Test advanced M&V2.0 methods, and demonstrate use of hourly energy profiles. • Use human centred design to explore M&V and simplified methods for calculating energy savings and ensuring compliance. Opportunities For M&V2.0 and P4P to succeed, we need; more (sub)metered data, the right mix of energy savings and demand savings, data privacy, easy finance, and simple compliance! What happens next?
  35. 35. Three Horizon Roadmap
  36. 36. Three Horizon Roadmap The Three Horizons plan breaks down our vision for the Energy Savings Scheme into executable phases of work: Pilot: 2019-20 Pilot a modern energy savings platform Horizon 1: 2022 Accelerate and modernise energy savings Horizon 2: 2025 Transparent and accessible energy savings Horizon 3: 2030 Energy savings are BAU
  37. 37. - Validated prototype with scheme participants - Evidence-based recommendations for technology decisions (eg. smart legislation and platform) - Investigation into data security and privacy - Streamlined manual data processes Pilot: 2019 – 2020 Pilot a modern energy savings platform Prototype and validate a unified platform to streamline energy savings and provide greater clarity on rule changes. Outcome What Success Looks Like • • Stakeholders are aligned on and support improvements to the scheme Streamlining removes inefficiencies leading to acceleration in savings • Reduction in non-compliance • Evidence from working prototypes builds confidence in the scheme’s expansion
  38. 38. What Success Looks Like • Rate of non-compliance continues to fall • • ESS increases share of NSW annual energy savings targets (above 20%) — and can better measure our impact 100% utilisation of ESS portal data to registry data Horizon 1: 2020 – 2022 Accelerate and modernise energy savings Develop a modern, unified platform to view, maintain and verify energy savings Outcome - Unified platform is fully functioning (MVP features) - Smart legislation expansion - Improved rule change process - M&V 2.0
  39. 39. What Success Looks Like • 10% of NSW residences and businesses are engaged with the Energy Savings Scheme • • Energy Savings Scheme approaches $20 billion of energy savings 80% of businesses and households have accessed the ESS platform Horizon 2: 2022 – 2025 Transparent and accessible energy savings Leverage energy efficiency data to expand energy savings into new sectors. Outcome - End-to end energy savings platform - API integration - Prototype public access (energy bill / dashboard) - Data simplification & analysis
  40. 40. What Success Looks Like • Energy savings scheme drives continuous improvement in energy efficiency • M&V is applied to new sectors and schemes • NSW hits 0 emissions by 2050 Horizon 3: 2025 – 2030 Energy savings are business as usual Drive behaviour change through a digitally integrated state/federal energy efficiency scheme. Outcome - Nationally & internationally connected ESS - Integrated smart energy system - Sophisticated energy efficiency modelling to inform behaviour change
  41. 41. Horizon 1: 2022 Accelerate and modernise energy savings Horizon 2: 2025 Transparent and accessible energy savings Horizon 3: 2030 Energy savings are BAU Develop a modern, unified platform to view, maintain and verify energy savings. Leverage energy efficiency data to expand energy savings into new sectors. Drive behaviour change through a digitally integrated state or federal energy efficiency scheme. Outcome: MVP of unified platform, smart legislation, M&V 2.0 Three Horizon Roadmap Pilot: 2019-20 Pilot a modern energy savings platform Prototype and validate a unified platform to streamline energy savings and provide greater clarity on rule changes. Outcome: Validated prototype with scheme participants, investigation into data security and privacy, streamlined manual data processes Outcome: End to end energy savings platform, data simplification & analysis, API integrations Outcome: Nationally & internationally connected ESS, integrated smart energy system, sophisticated energy efficiency modelling to inform behaviour change
  42. 42. What we learned
  43. 43. We need empathy and to focus on all users 1. Ensure we solve the core, root issues, not just the problem presented  often the problem presented is a symptom, not the cause 2. Focus on people 3. Take a systems point of view  most complications result from the interdependencies of the multiple parts 4. Continually test and refine our proposals  ensure they truly meet the needs of the people for whom they are intended Don Norman “The Four Principles of Human-Centered Design” https://jnd.org/the-four-fundamental-principles-ofhuman-centered-design/
  44. 44. david.pryor@environment.nsw.gov.au David Pryor

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