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Urban Energy Club

Urban Energy Club will test how virtual allocation of shared asset can support a more inclusive approach of procuring network flexibility from domestic customers living in blocks of flats. Trial participants will be recruited amongst residents living in a tower block, with a 2x 6KW/13KWh scale battery energy storage system integrated with a photovoltaic generation system virtually allocated across the participants. Customers will have the choice to join opt-in to a commercial arrangement.

Project-on-a-Page summary

Project data

Start date: 01/03/2019
End date: 30/11/2020
Budget: £195,000

In urban areas, multiple occupancy properties such as blocks of flats are a common living arrangement. Many local authorities plan to further develop affordable housing: this will also contribute to an increase in this type of living arrangement. Often blocks of flats are a type of social housing and are common in areas where financially underprivileged customers live in higher concentrations.

Living in these premises can often limit customers’ energy options and the uptake of low carbon technologies (LCTs) such as rooftop solar panels and batteries due to the nature of shared properties and limited space on individual sites. This can be a barrier for certain customers who would be unable to actively participate in the energy market, own distributed energy resources and offer flexibility services.

Shared ownership and virtual allocation of the assets can open energy saving opportunities, choices and new revenue streams for customers who would otherwise not be able to participate in the flexibility market. Urban Energy Club focuses on a new commercial model that will enable virtual allocation of shared assets and opt-in preferences for customers. By doing so, it explores social innovation that will help unlock the flexibility potential of specific customer groups that might be otherwise excluded from the flexibility market offerings, such as those living in blocks of flats that have limited opportunities to install individually owned solar photo-voltaic generation and batteries.

Urban Energy Club will cover the design, development and testing of the network-related aspects to a system with virtually allocated assets, specifically it will look at how customers can choose to use their virtual allocation of the shared asset to provide flexibility to the local electricity network and design a financial incentive offering flexibility suitable for the urban consumer group living in blocks of flats.

Urban Energy Club will look at how customers can choose to use their virtual allocation of the shared asset to provide flexibility to the local electricity network and design a financial incentive offering flexibility suitable for the urban consumer group living in blocks of flats.

While other projects have already tested flexibility from co-located solar PV and energy storage, Urban Energy Club focuses on a new commercial model that will enable virtual allocation of shared asset and opt-in preferences for customers. By doing so, it explores social innovation that will help unlock the flexibility potential of specific customer groups that might be otherwise excluded from the flexibility market offerings, such as those living in block of flats that have limited opportunities to install individually owned solar PV and batteries.

This project is exploring new ways customers can access the flexibility market and stack benefits from the shared ownership of low carbon assets such as solar PV and battery energy storage.


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