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KiWi launches ‘first of its kind’ residential demand response pilot

Image: KiWi Power.

Image: KiWi Power.

KiWi Power is launching a demand side response pilot that will see 100 households incentivised to reduce demand at peak times.

The 12-month ‘Greenwich Energy Hero’ trial is set to launch this month, with KiWi lauding it as the first of its kind in the UK.

The trial is run through an app, connected to a device installed on participants’ electricity meters, that alerts users when electricity demand is high and supply low. Participants are then asked to reduce their usage for anywhere between one and three hours.

The pilot will illustrate what a future energy system could look like, wherein consumers adapt their behaviour to reduce the electricity used at peak times, KiWi said.

Residents will receive alerts once or twice a month on average and are able to decide whether or not they participate each time.

Points are earned by responding to alerts and can be converted into vouchers of an estimated value of between £5 and £35 a year. Participants can also choose to collectively combine their rewards to make a donation to a local charity.

The app also provides energy saving tips and a leader board, as well as indicating which appliances are using the most electricity.

Nikita Vajani, product manager at KiWi Power, said domestic electricity consumers should have access to the same opportunities and benefits from demand side response as KiWi’s commercial and industrial clients.

“This market segment has great potential but to achieve success at scale requires a good understanding of consumption patterns and behaviours as well as identifying the best channels and messages for sustained engagement.”

The pilot is part of the European Union-funded Sharing Cities programme exploring smart cities. In addition to the Greenwich trial, there are also pilots being conducted in Lisbon, Milan, Bordeaux, Burgas and Warsaw.

Interest in domestic demand response is increasing, with the UK having seen a similar trial run by Northern Powergrid in partnership with GenGame, where an app incentivised domestic energy users to reduce their demand through gamification, offering opportunities to win cash prizes.

In the US, Google Nest and Leap announced a partnership last month to bring Google Nest thermostats into a domestic demand side response programme.


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