In 2015, the company Lucioles Energies was created in Belz to lead actions around Ria, the coastal river of Morbihan in Brittany, Northern France. This cooperative, devoted to the financing of photovoltaic power plants on local roofs, collected the savings of local residents to build two power plants: the first one of 25 kWp in Locoal-Mendon in 2018; the second one of 26 kWp in Étel in 2020.
But, once the panels are installed, how can the members be involved during the whole life of the power plant? The transition issue is still important, but the actions in this second phase may be less spectacular. How can the production data of the plant be valorized?
It is with this question in mind that the administrators of the cooperative met the SEN project.
Energy and digital? The SEN toolbox
SEN project (Sensibilisation à l'Énergie par le Numérique) has created a tool allowing consumers to look at the energy consumption of each household in relation to the production of its power station. The free software "Be My Home Smart" (BMHS) is full of interesting features for citizens!
This home automation software focuses on the energy aspect of the home: thanks to a meter sensor (or to an Enedis/Linky account, the energy provider), it monitors the consumption of the house and displays it in the form of a dashboard.
Working with a multi-user server, it also has "social" functions to compare consumption with other families. BMHS is a robust and secure software, which is released under an open-source license since 2018, allowing its reuse and improvement by the community.
BMHS consumption overview widget
BMHS consumption page
A shared innovation
In order to meet the needs of Lucioles Energies, the SEN project added a new functionality to the software: the citizen investment widget.
The production data of the plant (daily, monthly, and yearly) are uploaded on the server. Each member can configure the widget to indicate his own investment (number of shares in the power plant), and BMHS will display in return the "fraction of energy" produced by this investment.
Everyone can see how their savings cover their energy consumption. As an added bonus, the widget is also able to manage a portfolio of several power plants, and display a summary.
BMHS citizen investment widget
The beginning of a collaboration
In the example above, the consumer can see that his 11 shares have produced a total of 28.4kWh during the current month. This is the first example of the contribution of free software in the mobilization of citizens for an energy transition project.
The software is also shared with a free license, therefore it can be reused for several other projects.
More details on Consometers website.