Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring (NILM)

Green Running are experts in Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring (NILM) technology and energy disaggregation and have been working in this field for over 5 years.

Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring (NILM) is the process in which you are able to disaggregate a set of Energy readings over a period of time to determine exactly what appliances have used the Power and how much Power each appliance has used during that time period. This includes information as to what time the appliance switched on and off and the effect it has on the system in regards to Power Factor, Power Harmonics, etc.

This works due to the fact that at high resolution every appliance has its own energy “signature” and at any one point in time the total energy is always the addition of each appliance that is currently drawing power.

For example from monitoring just the mains line in a building, if a user turned the kettle on and then turned the toaster on and then maybe the microwave you would be able to see the difference in each appliance’s signature and thus distinguish when each appliance was turned on and how long it was on for.

Green Running has been working on this technology for over six years issuing a patent on the technology in 2009. Through the Energy Innovation centre Green Running has been working with Scottish Power and Scottish and Southern Power on the DNO level to distinguish each of the large appliance/machines running at each Substation to provide further information into the usage and load pattern of the substation and in April 2014 were finalists in the “Best smart Grid Innovation” Award.

Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring (NILM) Graph - Green Running

Due to the sampling rates and sophistication of the monitoring technology that Green Running has been using combined with the multiple years of researching into the technology, Green Running has developed a set of automated learning algorithms that over a period of time learn which appliances/machines are being used and reports them in a simple to use format for ease of understanding. So at the end of each day (including the possibility of real-time) a user will be able to see exactly what appliances have been consuming power during the day and how much each of those appliances individually have cost, which will allow appliance comparison whilst educating the user how best to save money on their energy bill.

What other benefits does Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring (NILM) have?

Ageing of equipment –

Well one of the joys of being armed with the knowledge of exactly how many times a device has turned on and off and at what times of the day. It allows you to work out a profile for that appliance and see how that usage has increased over time or compare it to the industry standards. For example a fridge, as it ages, can tend to have issues with its seal becoming worn. This means that the appliance will start to turn on more in an effort to keep the fridge at the correct temperature therefore creating wasted energy. The user themselves would not notice this due to the fact that the Fridge is still keeping their food at the same temperature. Though what they didn’t know until now is that the fridge is now costing them several times as much as it was in electricity than when they first brought it and that this wastage would mean a payback period of a matter of months on a replacement fridge making it a worthwhile investment.

Component malfunction –

Taking the example of the Fridge again, over a period of time the system will be able to notice that the signature it has associated with the Fridge also starts to change. This means that the motor could now be placing power harmonics onto the line which could damage other equipment or it could mean that the motor itself is starting to fail to having to work twice as hard to maintain the same temperature, either way the fridge motor is now liable to be consuming more energy usage which a user would not notice and even be able to give the user a heads up and stop the issue that occurs where one day the machine just stops working.

Hidden Load –

You will now be able to see each of the large appliances which are consuming power in your home, this means that any appliance that shouldn’t be on but has unfortunately been left on by someone in a hurry to leave the house for example will now be showing up each day, meaning that you will be able to immediately unplug appliances that can waste electricity in your homes for months due to the fact that no one knew they had left it on.

Intelligent House –

All this information can help your home become more efficient and intelligent and help you save money where it can be saved, allowing you to compare to other homes or adding control features, without the need for you to worry about your security being breached. It is a major innovation in the step to creating a smart home meter that isn’t just smart for being able to bill you correctly, but is smart for being able to save you money!

For more information on the benefits of second by second monitoring you can watch our video which highlights a client that we recently worked with to enhance their energy monitoring capabilities.

For domestic users interested in trialling our product please email us at and we will add you to our contact list. If you would like us to analyse your commercial property then please contact us or complete the form below and one of our Energy Consultants will contact you.

Contact Us

4 + 5 =