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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number NIA_UKPN0050
Title Urban Energy Club
Status Completed
Energy Categories Other Cross-Cutting Technologies or Research(Demographics) 80%;
Other Cross-Cutting Technologies or Research(Environmental, social and economic impacts) 20%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields SOCIAL SCIENCES (Economics and Econometrics) 15%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Town and Country Planning) 15%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Psychology) 15%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 30%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Architecture and the Built Environment) 25%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Systems Analysis related to energy R&D (Energy modelling) 20%;
Systems Analysis related to energy R&D (Other Systems Analysis) 20%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Policy and regulation) 10%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Consumer attitudes and behaviour) 50%;
Principal Investigator Project Contact
No email address given
UK Power Networks
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source Ofgem
Start Date 14 May 2019
End Date 13 February 2022
Duration ENA months
Total Grant Value £195,238
Industrial Sectors Power
Region London
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , UK Power Networks (99.999%)
  Other Investigator Project Contact , UKPN London Power Networks plc (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , UK Power Networks (0.000%)
Web Site https://smarter.energynetworks.org/projects/NIA_UKPN0050
Objectives Other projects such as Domestic Energy and Storage Control (DESC), energywise, SAVE (SSEN) and ACE (NPG) have explored both the network impacts associated with small/domestic distributed energy resources, energy efficiency and Demand Side Response (DSR) and the opportunities for better network management through domestic load flexibility. Currently there are other projects funded by BEIS investigating domestic flexibility and NIA projects exploring how how electric vehicles can provide flexibility at low voltage (Vehicle 2 Grid solutions and Shift). Unlike these projects , Urban Energy Club focuses on 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 is doing this by exploring a new commercial model that will enable virtual allocation of shared assets and opt-in preferences for customers. This project covers UK Power Networks involvement in an existing wider project (CommUNITY) funded by EDF Energy, that will install an energy storage in a block of flats and will develop a platform to provide more options to customers on how they use their energy (photo-voltaic generation and storage, peer to peer) and how they can stack revenue and savings from the use of their virtually allocated assets. Urban Energy Club will cover the design, development and testing of the network-related aspects of the wider project. 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.October 2020 Update:The lockdown period brought a halt to the project CommUNITY and paused any onsite work required for seven months between March and September 2020. On-site work was started in again in September. As this project deals with vulnerable customer and in light of the government guidelines, UK Power Networks supported this decision to pause the on-site work. As such the project required extension in order to fulfil an appropriate trial period.With the above in mind, the project has been extended until November 2021 to fulfil the agreed project objectives.November 2021 Update:We are extending the project by three months to allow for the conclusion of research and analysis carried out by University College London. There are no impacts on costs. Urban Energy Club will test how virtual allocation of a shared asset can support a more inclusive approach of procuring network flexibility from domestic customers. Trial participants will be recruited amongst residents living in a block of flats, with a 2x 6KW/13KWh scale battery energy storage system integrated with a photovoltaic generation system. Both recruitment and the commercial model development are out of scope of Urban Energy Club. Participants will be already engaged through the existing project CommUNITY, they will be able to select preferences on how to use their energy and will have options to trade or share their virtual allocated shares of communical asset with each other (e.g. options will include feed-in, self-consumption and peer to peer trading).This project will specifically help DNOs explore how a commercial model with virtual allocation of assets can deliver benefits to network customers and can open opportunities into the flexibility market for customers living in flats with limited space.The network trial will be carried out by simulating peak times designed on historical metering data, by adding the flexibility revenue stream option in the wider model and by comparing customers acceptance of this option with other preferences. The main objectives of this project are: To test whether customers living inblocks of flats can access financial benefits through flexibility; To explore how DNOs can be more inclusive by way of flexibility based on virtual allocation of shared assets; To create better value around low carbon and other future technology for groups that are part of some of the potential exclusion categories from a future flexible energy system (fuel poverty, lack of engagement in the energy market); To facilitate non-prosumers and fuel poor households ability to benefit from future energy technologies and from flexibility opportunties.
Abstract As part of UK Power Networks role in understanding the transition to the future smart flexible energy system we have identified potential categories of exclusion from the transition consisting of financial exclusion, fuel poverty, lack of engagement in the energy market and lack of flexibility in energy use. DNOs need to explore inclusive approaches that will ensure everyone is able to access the benefits of a flexible system if they wish to do so.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.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 14/12/22