London-based eco-tech startup Verv has today announced plans to launch the UK's first energy trading community at a housing estate in Hackney, City A.M. can reveal.
Verv, which was formed out of a group of data scientists and machine learning experts called Green Running, will trial Verv 2.0, its peer-to-peer energy trading tool, to provide residents at Hackney's Banister House estate with cheaper energy.
The project will be run in collaboration with Repowering, a London-based social enterprise with an aim to clear the way for community owned energy.
The tool, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to allow customers with renewable energy supplies and battery storage to sell surplus power directly to their neighbours, could be rolled out across the UK depending on the results of the trial.
The project follows Banister House Solar, the UK's largest community energy scheme on social housing. With the support of Hackney Council, solar panels were installed on 17 of the blocks of flats that make up Banister House.
With Verv's trading tool, intermittent solar energy can be stored and then traded between flats.
“We are on a mission to give the consumer control of their energy and the Banister House project is a fantastic opportunity to bring to life just how much this P2P infrastructure can benefit areas such as social housing," said Peter Davies, chief executive of Verv.
"The fact that we will be physically trading energy for the first time is a very exciting prospect.”
Jack Dangerfield, energy efficiency and community engagement officer for Repowering, said:
Having completed a project to install community-owned solar PV at Banister House, residents have always asked if there could be a way to use the clean renewable energy themselves. Frustratingly, due to the structure of the UK electricity market, this has not been possible so far, and the majority of the electricity is exported to the grid.
We’re delighted to be working alongside Verv, who are providing residents with the means to take the first steps to overcome this challenge, and start powering their community with sunshine.
The project, which begins early next year, will run for 12 months.