First of all, the Energy Local team hopes that you all had a good Easter break and enjoyed some of those lovely sun rays.
In these difficult times, the team and our partners and energy supplier have been working within the limitations imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, but this has taken its toll introducing various levels of delays on our community projects.
However, we are pleased to announce that two of the Energy Local Clubs are now live and the participants are enjoying the benefits of locally generated electricity. Also, our list of participants waiting for their smart meter and CAD necessary to join the Club is growing smaller with the excellent efforts of the Octopus energy team.
Read on for more detail.
Energy Local Returns
You may well have been wondering what has been going on. We apologise for the radio silence since our last update, but the team have been beavering away behind the scenes.
We are thrilled to be able to say that we have the first number of participants in two Clubs enjoying renewable power from their local hydro and a Time of Use Tariff from Octopus Energy.
Corwen was the first Club to restart in Feb, followed shortly by Crickhowell. We are expecting Bethesda to go live next with more than a 100 participants and two local hydro stations.
All our Active members have a smart meter and a customer access device (CAD) which links the smart meter with the Energy Local user dashboard. There, participants can see their own consumption, the level of renewable generation available, and the Club's overall consumption and savings brought back to the community. Participants can also see the best time to use their heavy load appliances and have control on any of their smart devices (see next section below).
You can preview the local generation and how it is being used in each of the three Clubs by clicking on the links below.
We look forward to bringing more and more households into each of these Clubs.
Massive thanks to our members in Bethesda, Crickhowell and Corwen for all their patience and all their hard work and thank you to our energy supplier Octopus Energy for helping us make this happen.
A couple of our projects are part-funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in support for these first few Clubs. Ipsos MORI will be assisting us by doing surveys to gain customer feedback and gage into real time demand and usage trends. This will aid us to advance our research into further technological solutions that we can offer locally.
Internet of Things
As an integral part of these projects, we are bringing solutions for energy consumption management at home (also known as demand side response). We will be offering households the opportunity to try out a smart plug and other "internet of things" smart devices to schedule appliances in the home where participants can get the best of what their Energy Local Club has to offer. We are also trialling some heat pump and storage heater controls.
A Smart Plug and an example schedule using a Smart Plug at home and the best available Time of Use Tariff.
Efficient Networks in Remote Locations Invested in Bethesda
We have been working closely with SPEnergy Networks to understand how they can use smart meter data to run the electricity network more efficiently.
SPEnergy have invested in a 'LoraWAN' network to gather data cheaply even in remote areas. This can be used for other applications - for example, to show where litter bins are full, count users on a cycleway etc. within the village so it has an added benefit.
The next step will be to work out how to co-ordinate match when we use power and generation and reducing usage at the right times to help run the electricity network more efficiently to enable more renewables and low carbon devices, such as heat pumps and electric vehicle chargers, to be connected.
Energy Local Clubs in Bridport, Machynlleth, Llandysul and Roupell Park are in the pipeline. We thank those who signed up to join these Clubs and for patience whilst issues are fixed and things are finalised.
There are a number of new Clubs just starting up and Energy Local is setting up training sessions for local Club advisors.
Thank you Linda!
We take this opportunity to thank Linda Hilton for all her tireless hard work and sleepless nights she invested in Energy Local as operations director, and in the team and community. We are sorry to lose you, but we wish you all the best for your future endeavours.
Have a warm Spring everyone and stay safe!