We can be heroes

08/08/2019

The first of its kind in the UK, the Greenwich Energy Hero pilot has launched through Sharing Cities, helping residents use less electricity and earn rewards, all the while paving the way to a greener energy market. 

Greenwich Energy Hero is a 12 month trial which will help 100 residents use electricity more efficiently in their home, earning rewards in the process. You can decide either to exchange your rewards for vouchers, or join collectively to donate to a local charity. 

The trial provides a positive solution to the UK’s increasing demand for electricity. Due to rising populations and a transition towards renewable energy, which produces electricity at variable rates, there can be occasions when demand for electricity is higher than supply. 

Greenwich Energy Hero illustrates what a future could look like where people are able to adapt their behaviours, and reduce the amount of electricity being used at peak times, promoting a more sustainable future.  

 

How it works

  1. An energy advisor called a Green Doctor installs a free device onto residents’ electricity meters. 
  2. The device is connected to an app which will alert residents at times when there is high demand and a low supply of electricity in the local area. This is called a peak response event. 
  3. Residents will then be asked to reduce their electricity use for one to three hours, for example by turning off some non-essential electrical appliances for a while. Residents will only receive these alerts on average once or twice a month, and can decide whether they are able to participate or not each time. 
  4. If residents respond to alerts, they can earn points. Points can either be converted into vouchers (an estimated £5-£35 a year), or residents can combine rewards to make a donation to a local charity. 

As well as providing real-time electricity usage data, the app offers energy saving tips, indicates which appliances are using the most electricity, and has a leader board so residents can see how well they are doing in the borough. 

Cllr Denise Hyland, cabinet member for economy, skills and apprenticeships says “The Royal Borough of Greenwich is committed to supporting a greener energy supply. By trialling smart technologies with projects such as Greenwich Energy Hero, we are able to solve energy challenges, as well as help 100 of our residents to use less electricity, meaning they can lower their electric bills.” 

Nikita Vajani, product manager at Kiwi Power says “KiWi Power believes domestic electricity consumers should have access to the same opportunities and benefits our commercial and industrial clients see from ‘demand side response’. 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.” 

Our other lighthouse cities Lisbon and Milan have also launched their own 'digital social market' (DSM) apps which aim to create a lasting community to realise the social, environmental and economic value of sustainable behaviours through trades and incentives which might be personal or collective

To learn more, visit https://greenwichenergyhero.org/

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement N°691895

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Jem McKenna-Percy

Programme Manager

Greater London Authority
pmo@sharingcities.eu

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Brooke Flanagan

Communication & Replication

EUROCITIES
brooke.flanagan@eurocities.eu
+32 2 552 08 95