Saurab Chhachhi

Thesis title:

Differentially Private Smart Meter Data Markets: An Interdisciplinary Approach


This project aims to investigate one of the most pertinent challenges facing retail electricity markets today. Smart metering for domestic consumers is seen as a key enabler in moving towards a more dynamic, cost-effective, cost-reflective and decarbonised electricity network. It provides benefits for both suppliers and consumers through improved billing accuracy, real-time feedback on consumption and enabling innovative business models which harness demand response and dynamic pricing schemes. Access to granular data, such as half-hourly consumption of individuals, can be used to discern personal information raising issues around privacy and data usage. Concurrently methods to ensure data privacy, such as differential privacy, are being actively researched and implemented in other fields to allow for wider dissemination of data while protecting consumer privacy. By integrating an interdisciplinary framework, this research attempts to capture the effects of different socio-psychological-economic factors that influence consumers attitudes to privacy and develop a market framework within which the privacy utility trade-off, introduced by differential privacy, can be quantified with the ultimate aim of translating these findings into practical and actionable policy recommendations to strike a balance between privacy and access to high resolution smart meter data.


First supervisor:

Fei Teng

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9 – Political Ecology, Energy & Environmental Health