HomeSmart Grid T&DEnergy StorageUK start-up Social Energy blends storage with solar and AI

UK start-up Social Energy blends storage with solar and AI

A new energy company for consumers with solar panels has launched in the UK with a pledge to “transform the energy industry by turning it on its head” and cut bills by up to 70 per cent.

Social Energy is a start-up launched in collaboration with Duracell Home Energy Storage that utilizes a domestic 3.3kw battery with an artificial intelligence platform to predict home energy use patterns, allowing customers to use their self-generated electricity first before taking from the grid.

And the company’s network of customers is also designed to act as a virtual power plant and be used within the dynamic grid services market to balance the grid. Social Energy is the first home energy trading solution to be fully compliant with National Grid’s dynamic frequency response service.

Social Energy’s chief executive Ryan Gill said: “The UK no longer needs to rely on traditional energy providers: Social Energy is a new approach to managing energy that puts power directly into people’s hands. All of the trading and selling activity is digital and is done for the customers, allowing them to go on with their lives, but what is obvious are the savings. à‚ Other people are talking about this, but we’re already doing it.”à‚  à‚ 

Chief technology officer Simon Peat added: “We live in an age of disruption, where innovators are challenging established ways of doing things and we no longer accept the status quo as ‘good enough’. Not only we are offering consumers an unprecedented reduction in energy bills, but we are reducing the country’s reliance on traditional energy sources. Across Britain our platform delivers 100 per cent clean energy efficiently, reliably and faster than any other form of energy available. We are confident we can make cleaner and greener smart cities a reality in the years to come.”

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The company was launched this week in London attended by PEi. Social Energy non-executive director Jason Sharpe told the audience that the company was unique: “I don’t see anything like this happening anywhere else.”

Sharp previously worked at mobile telephone company Vodaphone, banking business First Direct and UK utility Ovo Energy. He said all three have something in common: “They’re disruptors. They’re challengers. Vodaphone was the first company in the UK to make a mobile telephone call and send a text. First Direct was the first telephone bank in the UK, and Ovo Energy was the first to challenge the ‘Big Six’.

Now he said Social Energy “is going to transform the energy industry by turning it on its head. We are pushing to disrupt not only the UK marketplace but globally. We are creating a community of customers who will be bigger and more powerful than any utility in the world.”

Sharpe said the energy market “is going through a real flux at the moment as we hurtle towards renewable energy. We are creating what you could call a mini-utility for our customers.”

He said Social Energy would put “energy back in the hands of consumers and prosumers” and promised it would have a similar disruptive effect to that of Airbnb and Uber.

He added that the combination of Social Energy’s artificial intelligence software and Duracell’s energy storage hardware would make the company “a powerhouse to be reckoned with”.

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