General Update: Supply Progress in Two Energy Local Clubs in Wales
The transfer of Energy Local Bethesda Club members to the new energy supplier has now been completed. Active members are now being supplied electricity by Octopus Energy and new members are lined up to join in January when their new smart meters are scheduled to be installed.
Energy Local second Club, Crickhowell, is now Active and on supply from Octopus Energy. We are expecting new members to join in January.
Both Bethesda and Crickhowell Clubs are now set to receive full benefits from their Hydro and Solar renewal energy generated locally. The integration of the domestic solar generation is expected to be completed in January.
In the new year, we also plan on making progress on including prepayment meters and business rates for Time of Use Tariffs.
We have several Clubs starting in the South West of England. We’d like to welcome Bridport and Dartmouth to the Energy Local repertoire. It will be interesting to see who the first active English Club will be!
Energy Local on BBC Radio 4
Energy Local participated in a Radio 4 ‘In Business – Keeping the Lights On’ programme on 28 November which should be downloadable from the following link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000bp4t
Changes in the Team
Energy Local would like to introduce you to our new Club development manager, Gillian Wright. Gillian will be looking after the operational side of launching new local Clubs in the UK and providing support and training to current and new Club advisors. We are confident that our Clubs have landed in expert hands.
We’ve had the pleasure of working with Sophie Hilton as she temped with us over the Summer. Sophie worked for the project during vacation from studying physics at the University of Manchester. Her role was administrative and test support. We hope to work with Sophie again in the future.
Energy Local would also like to thank David Waller for his work over the past year. Sadly, David is leaving the team, but we hope to collaborate with him in the future. We wish David all the best in his future endeavours.
Locally-Generated Renewable Energy on Track to Becoming Cheaper and Easier to Use
As you already know from our previous newsletters, we are currently in the pilot testing phase of our Home Hub, as part of our government-funded energy demand management project (or Demand Side Response DSR).
The Energy Local Home Hub is designed to help participants schedule electrical appliance use to match their daily needs, availability of locally-generated electricity, and the best tariff available at the time (known as Time of Use Tariff or TOUT).
Our first Home Hubs are being tested by volunteer households in the Energy Local Bethesda (Cyd Ynni) Club.
Based on feedback we have received thus far, we found that the programming of certain modern electrical appliances makes them difficult to schedule. It would be ideal to be able to control washing machines, dishwashers and tumble driers, but these are problematic. However, other appliances we can tackle now. We are currently working on being able to include a wider range of appliances for the next testing phase. Our aim is to be able to control dehumidifiers, heat pumps and storage heaters.
Understanding the Needs of Different Households
As part of our DSR project, we have created a survey to learn more about energy needs in various households and to work out what types of appliances are currently compatible with the scheduling feature of our Home Hub. This data will be instrumental in projecting the level of shifting each household or Energy Local Club would be able to make, especially if we make shifting easier via the Home Hub.
Shifting your energy use of certain electrical appliances to a different time of day will match generation and demand. Shifting may also create a potential for savings on your energy bills by using appliances when the local power supply can cover your needs or by using these appliances at the lowest Time of Use Tariff.
Please, help us by filling in the survey.
Energy Redress Scheme Could Bring in Prepayment and Better Communications
We at Energy Local are delighted to win funding from the Redress Fund managed by Energy Saving Trust towards creating a communications device to interface with a range of different meters. We will be working with Invisible Response (Invisible Systems, Cumbria) who will undertake the technical development that should make Energy Local more flexible and let Clubs see their data in real time to get even more out of Energy Local.
Not only will this make Energy Local more flexible in the future, but we also aim to use this to include houesholds currently on prepayment meters in Energy Local Clubs.
In addition, Energy Local will be working closely with Bioregional and Repowering to understand the needs of the fuel poor, which means working with various local communities and social landlords to create new practical and sustainable solutions to address these needs.
Testing the Home Hub: Demand Side Response
As we reported in our previous newsletter, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) had granted us funding for phase 2 of our Demand Side Response project. This project is now gearing up. We will be testing the Home Hub in a number of households. The Home Hub will allow its user to schedule appliances to run at the cheapest times of the day based on the local energy generation output, how much power the Club is using and the Time of Use Tariff.
However, before we get to that point, the first step will be to show participants their personal load usage every few seconds so that they can see the impact of using different appliances.
We will also be working with local consortium Cyd Ynni to offer advice to those who would like more information on how to use the energy more efficiently.
Welcome to the Team
Welcome to David Waller who will be working with us on the Demand Side Response project and to Rania Alqass who will provide administrative assistance to our team and keep you updated with our latest news.
Demand Side Response
We are pleased to say we have won funding from BEIS for phase 2 of Demand Side Response project. We will be working with Energy Local clubs in Bethesda and elsewhere to work out what appliances households wish to schedule. They will have the chance to try out our ‘Home Hub’ to automatically find the best times to run appliances according to their preferences. There is no ‘Big Brother’, households stay in control, but we hope it will be more convenient to use the Home Hub than not. Along the way we will be asking what else the Home Hub could be used for to support independent living and generally make life easier.
We look forward to working with our partners Open Energy Monitor, ePower, DeMonfort University and SPEnergy Networks.
We are grateful for all those would be Clubs and participants who have had to wait to form their Club. We have had considerable problems agreeing tariffs with electricity suppliers and financing and now sourcing meters. We are working as fast as we can. A big thanks to our regional facilitators, particularly Community Energy Wales, who have helped us in resolving these problems.