Trial a new solution to save electricity and pave the way for the future of energy

Take part in a trial to help decide the future of energy! Greenwich Energy Hero is a service being piloted in Greenwich which helps you use electricity more effectively and earn rewards - all from the comfort of your home.

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What is Greenwich Energy Hero?

Greenwich Energy Hero is a 12 month trial intended to help you and your neighbours use electricity more efficiently at home. By sending notifications via an app, the digital service will alert you when electricity supply is lower in your area. By using less electricity during this period, you’ll receive rewards. This is important as the supply of electricity is shifting towards solar and wind which produce electricity at variable rates, and the demand for electricity is changing too.

We’re looking for 100 homes across Greenwich to take part in this exciting 12 month trial which will launch in June 2019, and last for 1 year. By taking part you’ll help us to test out this new technology, and your feedback will inform how we can improve and perfect the service, which, in the future, has the potential to be rolled out to homes across the UK. You’ll also be compensated for taking part in the trial.

The trial involves the following steps:

1. Install

A Green Doctor will install a small device in your home to measure your electricity usage, and connect you to the Greenwich Energy Hero app

2. Monitor

The Greenwich Energy Hero app lets you track the electricity use in your home in real time

3. Alert

You will receive an alert that there is a Peak Response Event via your app when electricity supply is lower- on average once or twice a month, with advance notice

4. Action

If you accept the alert, you reduce your electricity usage for the suggested time- a few hours

5. Reward

You will be rewarded for your action with points which you can convert into vouchers for yourself or a donation to a local charity

How it works

1. Install

On behalf of Greenwich Energy Hero, a Green Doctor will come to your home to install a small device onto your electricity meter- at a time that suits you. They'll also connect you to the Greenwich Energy Hero app on your smartphone or tablet- as many devices as you like. The device and app are supplied free of charge by Kiwi Power.
The Green Doctor will also complete a survey with you and guide you through energy saving measures and unbiased income advice. You'll also receive a £20 voucher for taking part.

2. Monitor

Once the device is installed, the Greenwich Energy Hero app will help you to track the electricity you are using in the home in real time, as well as graphs to display minute, hourly, daily, weekly and monthly usage to help you identify patterns in your energy use. Please note that while this data has a high degree of accuracy, due to the technology used it is
not suitable for billing information. The app also gives you access to features such as energy saving tips and leaderboards, helping you take control of your electricity use.

3. Alert

The Greenwich Energy Hero App will also send you an alert - at times when there is high demand but low supply of electricity in your local area. You'll be asked whether you can reduce your electricity use for a short period of time. These alerts will happen 10-14 times a year, so one or two times a month on average, and last for a couple of hours.

4. Action

If you're able to reduce your electricity usage even a little bit - accept the notification. You'll be told the period of time that's affected - for example 5pm-7pm. There will be some appliances you can probably delay for a couple of hours or a day with not much difficulty - such as your washing machine, tumble drier, iron or vacuum. There are other appliances that you might be able to delay with
some creativity - for example if you have a gas hob you could heat water for a cup of tea instead of using the kettle. However we definitely do not expect you to sit in your home without the lights on, and if you have electric heating you certainly should not turn off the heating. The aim is to lower the amount of electricity that’s being used, not stop using electricity all together.

5. Reward

If you choose to take part in the Peak Response event, you will be rewarded for your action based on how much you are able to reduce your electricity usage from the normal level. Your Hero Points can be converted into vouchers for yourself, or combined with other Greenwich Energy Heroes to make a donation to a local charity, every 3 months.

Why it’s important?

Due to rising populations and a move over to renewable energy sources (which can produce variable amounts of electricity), there can be occasions when demand for electricity is higher than supply. Reducing the amount of electricity being used at certain peak times is the most efficient way of solving the problem, rather than building new power stations, or keeping old stations available for occasional use. Many large companies already take part in Peak Response Events, and we want to see if households can also take part in these actions too. If successful, it would ensure that we can continue our move over to renewable sources such as solar or wind, without the need to rely on back up fossil fuel power sources.

How to get involved

Sign-up to register your interest in taking part in the trial or call 0300 365 5003 to find out more. You can also let us know your thoughts on the project on the Greenwich Energy Hero Commonplace.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If this trial is successful, Kiwi Power can work with National Grid and distribution network operators to design a product allowing residents to maximise their financial rewards by participating in Demand Response events. Kiwi Power gets paid by National Grid and most of the earnings are passed on to the consumers, while Kiwi Power retains a small fee for running the service.

The National Grid is the network of cables that transfers electricity from where it is made (such as power stations, wind farms) to where it is used in homes and businesses.

The peaks of high demand of electricity happen when many households are using a lot of electricity at the same time- for example on a cold, dark winter's night when lots of lights, electric cookers and heaters and tumble driers are being used; or at the half-time in a big football match when everyone turns on the kettle.

Lower supply of electricity might occur on a cloudy and windless day when there is less solar and wind power being produced, or if a coal or nuclear power plant is turned off for maintenance.

At the end of the pilot we'll collect the smart device and give you your final reward and incentive. We'll then analyse the results of the trial and use it to influence the future market of this kind of offer.
Yes, if you want to leave contact residential@kiwipowered.com and we will arrange to collect the smart device from your household.
You don't need to change electricity supplier - this trial will work with any system you have in your household.
You're eligible no matter your electricity provider, or whether you are on a pre-payment meter (pay as you go) or direct debit. We will prioritise households who don't already have a special deal for electricity- such as Economy 7/Economy 10 tariffs, discounted or free energy at certain times from the energy supplier (such as British Gas - HomeEnergy FreeTime). Some spaces on the trial are also reserved for the Sharing Cities demonstrator area- Peninsula and Greenwich West. We want a mixed group of people to take part so we can see how well this project works for different people, so we will choose a range of different household types. However, for technical reason, only households with an existing broadband line/internet connection are eligible.

A smart meter is supplied by your electricity supplier, and it measures how much electricity (or gas) your household is using (often every 30 minutes) and sends this information to your supplier where it is used to calculate your bill.

This project is using a similar meter, but it measures your electricity use more often (every 6 seconds or so) and cannot be used for billing. It is being used to calculate your reward for reducing your electricity usage after an alert.

In the future, if this trial and others like it are successful, these technologies are likely to be combined.

More questions? Call 0300 365 5003

Support

If you’ve signed up to Greenwich Energy Hero and are experiencing some technical difficulties, please call Kiwi Power on 0207 183 1030 ext 1024, email residential@kiwipowered.com or see you How-to Guide.

Greenwich Energy Hero is a Sharing Cities project, brought to you by Royal Borough of Greenwich, Future Cities Catapult and Green Doctors, powered by Kiwi Power and funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.