Open Utility unveils the power of Piclo, Britain’s first online peer‐to‐peer marketplace for renewable energy

Tech company Open Utility have today released the findings of their six‐month trial of Piclo, the  Britain’s  first  online  peer‐to‐peer  marketplace for  renewable  energy,  allowing consumers and generators to buy and sell renewable energy directly.

Findings from the six‐month trial have revealed that local markets are the future of a decentralised energy economy and that significant savings can be achieved by making grid charges fairer through local matching ‐ if Piclo is widely adopted alongside Open Utility’s proposals to Ofgem for fairer grid charges it could mark a step‐change for the industry.

The Piclo trial was a collaboration between energy startup Open Utility and  green energy provider Good Energy with funding from leading tech for good investor Nominet Trust and The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund scheme run by The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). It gives consumers and generators the tools and data needed to allow them 
complete choice and control, whilst also providing electricity retailers groundbreaking insights into their customers purchasing decisions. 

James Johnston, Open Utility CEO and co‐founder said: “Open Utility believe peer‐to‐peer local energy matching could unlock billions of pounds of additional revenue for renewable generation technologies in Great Britain and overseas, heralding an age of decentralised and clean electricity. And now, following the release of our six‐month trial we are in a perfect position to maximize the benefit from the smart meter rollout to 30 million households and businesses across Wales, Scotland and England by the end of 2020 alongside the recognition by Ofgem  that it is in consumers’ interests to be settled against their half‐hourly consumption data.”

Vicki Hearn, Director of Nominet Trust said: “At Nominet Trust, we’re passionate about the potential of the internet and digital technology as a force for social good. It’s been exciting for us to support  Open Utility’s growth through our funding  for  Piclo, building a fairer, renewable energy marketplace for consumers and producers – and also helping to preserve vital resources for future generations. We’re now thrilled to see the results of the Piclo trial and its potential to unlock value in local energy markets.”

Piclo takes in all the price and preference information and matches electricity demand and supply every half an hour. Good Energy help ensure that the marketplace is always balanced, purchasing surplus power or providing 100% renewable top‐up when required. 

Juliet Davenport, Good Energy CEO and founder said: “Good Energy’s vision is of an energy system where control is in the hands of people, harnessing the awesome power of the UK’s natural resources, and electricity is generated by the communities who use it. The Piclo trial has provided a glimpse of what a future powered purely by renewables could look like, with everything from rooftop solar to community wind turbines playing a role”.

The  trial  generator participants included community energy groups, private developers, family‐owned and charity sites ‐ City of Cardiff Council, National Trust, Westmill Solar, Community Power Cornwall, Brixton Energy. Consumers included sustainable businesses, charities and a co‐housing association ‐ Eden Project, Watergate Bay Hotel,  Lancaster Co‐Housing, Benson Signs and BDP.

Ready to switch?