EDF Energy 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.
EDF Energy is the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity, meeting around one-fifth of the country’s demand and supplying millions of customers and businesses with electricity and gas.
It generates electricity with eight nuclear power stations, more than 30 wind farms, one gas and two coal power stations, as well as with combined heat and power plants.
EDF Energy is leading the UK's nuclear renaissance with the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C. This will provide low carbon electricity to meet 7% of UK demand. The project is already making a positive impact on the local and national economy, British industry, as well as boosting skills and education. EDF Energy also invests in a range of low carbon technologies including renewables and battery storage. It is applying research and development expertise to improve the performance of existing generation and developing the potential of new technologies.
The company provides gas and electricity for more than 5 million customer accounts and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain and the largest supplier to British businesses. It offers innovative energy systems for commercial customers and digital innovation for customers at home. EDF Energy has also launched its own innovation accelerator, Blue Lab, which focuses on making customers’ lives easier.
The Better Plan is EDF Energy's framework for being a sustainable and responsible energy business and is an integral part of EDF's 2030 vision to be the efficient, responsible electricity company, and champion of low-carbon growth. The Better Plan is underpinned by comprehensive environmental and social programmes which have been recognised by a wide range of organisations.
EDF Energy is part of EDF Group, the world’s biggest electricity generator. In the UK, the company employs around 13,000 people at locations across England and Scotland.
To find out more about the UK's energy challenges visit our energy future webpages.