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Tech startup receives funds for peer-to-peer online renewable energy trading platfrom

Open Utility, a new tech company that is looking to create first renewable electricity market place, has received funding to create an online peer-to-peer renewable energy trading platform. The company hopes that anyone wanting to buy or sell renewable energy will soon be able to trade online with their neighbours. 

The company has received half a million in funding from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), including £310,000 from its energy entrepreneurs fund.

From Nominet Trust, a funding body that supports new technology innovation has given Open utility £150,000, and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s ‘Climate-KIC UK Accelerator Programme’ – funding for cleantech startups, is offering a possible £40,000 grant to Open Utility.

The launch is planned for 2016 after a pilot phase. Renewable generators will be able to sell directly to end-users, allowing people to see transparently exactly where their energy comes from, and allowing energy users more choice, and the ability to search for clean energy at the best price.  

The new online platform will allow any generators to sell directly to end users. Image credit: Mtaylor848 via creative commons

The new online platform will allow any generators to sell directly to end users. Image credit: Mtaylor848 via creative commons

James Johnston, co-Founder and CEO at Open Utility said: “Community buildings like schools and offices will be able to double as power plants - powering themselves during the day and sharing excess power with neighbours in the evenings and weekends.”

Johnston added for a future of “abundant, clean, local energy” Open Utility will “throw open the marketplace so there is total transparency of where renewable energy comes from and how much it costs.”

Annika Small, CEO, Nominet Trust said Open Utilities’ idea gives “an ethical alternative to the UK’s big six energy companies”.

Andrew Burford, entrepreneurship lead at Climate-KIC UK said the new trading scheme has “the potential to have a significant and lasting effect on the energy market and the climate change problem.”

Amber Rudd, parliamentary under secretary of state at DECC said the Open Utility project is aiding “ambitions to improve energy security, reduce emissions whilst also creating new jobs”.