UK energy efficiency: Onzo wins £740k data analysis grant

UK energy efficiency
UK energy efficiency: Innovate UK, an agency of the DECC, is funding a project to see how data analysis can impact customers’ long-term behaviour and energy usage

In the UK, government agency Innovate UK has awarded GBP747,000 to a utility data analytics company to deliver a two-year project centred on reducing fuel poverty and increasing energy efficiency.

Headquartered in London, Onzo received the money through the Energy Catalyst fund managed by Innovate UK.

Under the terms of the project, Onzo will present customers of a new energy provider in Scotland with personalised information and advice around their energy usage to highlight energy waste.

The company, which compiles and analyses household energy data taken from sensors, also aims to help customers who struggle to pay their bills in winter better manage their energy use throughout the year.

Onzo said its combines granular smart meter data with lifestyle behaviour analysis and probabilistic forecasting to give utilities and their customers insights into how, where and when energy is used.

Onzo was awarded the funding in conjunction with UK university Imperial College London, which will measure the effectiveness of Onzo’s interactions with customers to understand the impact on long-term behavioural change.

The project is part of a larger scale government initiative to find solutions to what the UK is calling its Energy Trilemma –  reducing emissions by producing energy through greener resources, improving security of supply and reducing costs.

The Energy Catalyst grant has been established by Innovate UK, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

UK energy efficiency – demand response

In other UK energy news, new research released this week suggests that demand side response (DSR) technology could help meet the UK’s energy grid requirements faster than a conventional power station.

National Grid, electricity balancing company Open Energi and Cardiff University looked at the feasibility of DSR to provide a significant share of balancing services using the ‘Dynamic Demand’ system, reports Energy Live News.

Developed by Open Energi, the system automates the use of business assets such as air conditioning units, heating and pumps in response to changes in the amount of electricity available on the grid to help balance it.

The field tests showed the technology could provide full response in less than two seconds compared to five to 10 seconds for a thermal generator.

Nikola Gargov, Power Systems Engineer at National Grid, told the trade publication: “Demand Side Response will play an increasingly vital role in building a secure, sustainable and affordable electricity system for the future. If just 5% of peak demand is met by DSR solutions, the response would be equivalent to the generation of a new nuclear power station.”

Earlier this year, National Grid said it plans to invest up to GBP400 million by 2020 in DSR initiatives.