EDF empowers social housing residents to trade solar energy
Residents of a block of flats in Brixton are pioneering a community energy trading project led by EDF Energy that will enable them to trade solar energy with each other.
EDF Energy’s Research & Development department has launched Project ‘CommUNITY’ with Repowering London and UCL’s Energy Institute, which aims to increase residents’ consumption of local low-carbon energy while reducing their overall costs.
Project ‘CommUNITY’ will enable Brixton residents at Elmore House to access electricity generated from a solar PV system on the block’s roof, store it in a battery and trade with one another (peer-to-peer) using blockchain technology.
The platform, managed via an app, allows residents in urban areas to source their energy from local renewables and either use their own allocation of energy or trade it with their neighbours.
Under current regulations, customers cannot buy from, or sell to, other consumers but delivery of the project has been made possible as part of Ofgem’s ‘Innovation Link’, which allows the consortium to work outside the current regulatory framework.
Xavier Mamo, Director of Research & Development at EDF Energy, said: “At EDF Energy, we are committed to making energy easier for our customers and unlocking the benefits that new technologies are bringing to the sector.
“By collaborating with our partners and using block chain technology, this project in Brixton aims to show how small communities in dense urban areas could benefit from a low carbon and local energy system in a new and transformative way.”
Felix Wight, Technical Director at Repowering, said: “We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to own a stake in and benefit from new energy technologies, and this project will create new ways to do just that.”
“We are proud that the first inner city solar cooperative in the UK will now host this ground-breaking trial which continues the journey towards a locally managed, low carbon future”.
The trial is expected to start in March 2019 and will end in October 2019.
For more information about Ofgem’s “Innovation Link”, visit: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/about-us/how-we-engage/innovation-link
Notes to editors
Repowering specialises in co-producing community energy programmes with community groups and Local Authorities. We support communities to deliver, own and manage renewable energy projects that provide benefits to the citizens that surround them. We are a community benefit society with a team of dedicated employees working collaboratively alongside passionate volunteers. For more information on our current projects and investment opportunities please visit www.repowering.org.uk
About UCL’s Energy Institute
UCL's Energy Institute (UCL) delivers world-leading learning, research and policy support on the challenges of climate change and energy security. The group has links with most of the main energy companies and works closely with organisations including Ofgem, BEIS, and the CCC. Recently UCL participated in a major field trial on smart metering and non-punitive ToU tariffs in social housing in Tower Hamlets, London. Lessons will be drawn from this trial for application in CommUNITY.