‘Universal’ home energy app coming in UK

‘Universal’ home energy app coming in UK
From l. The Swarm team Anthony Piggott, CTO, Stephanie Madeley, CFO, Dan Martin, CEO, and Opencast team Tom Lawson, CEO, Andrew Howard, client relationship director, James Hodgson, CFO. Image: Thomas Jackson @Tynesight Photography

The Swarm home energy app under development by renewable energy start-up Swarm and tech consultancy Opencast is declared a first of a kind in UK.

The aim of the app is to enable users to optimise how and when energy is used around their homes, integrating smart devices, such as electric vehicle charge points and solar panels, regardless of their brand.

“There’s a lot of clever technology out there that helps people manage the energy in their homes but, incredibly, there’s nothing in the UK that works with different brands and devices, meaning people can’t currently control all the energy devices across their home in one place,” said Swarm Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer Anthony Piggott.

“We knew we could create something to change this and with [Opencast’s] tech expertise and our knowledge of the energy sector, we have the ability to make something really exciting: one app to control every aspect of energy in the home.”

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Demonstration and testing of the new app are set to take place in a purpose-built energy hub at the Hoults Yard business village in Newcastle, where the two companies are based, with the first iteration planned for launch in autumn 2023.

Growing UK consumer interest in green innovations

The availability of such apps as Swarm’s would appear to be timely, with a new survey from McKinsey & Company of more than 2,000 consumers revealing a soaring demand for green energy innovations to curb high energy prices and reduce household bills.

McKinsey reports that as wholesale prices have started to fall enabling retailers to offer lower prices the incentive to switch suppliers, after record low levels, has increased and a third of consumers are considering switching, while almost half are willing to adopt some form of time-of-use tariffs.

Further, a quarter are also willing to buy additional green products and services from energy retailers such as energy management services, solar panels, electric vehicle chargers and heat pumps.

With this suppliers also have the opportunity to attract more customers and diversify their offerings by curbing costs, simplifying processes and boosting public awareness of new energy products and services, McKinsey indicates.

Kiril Bliznakov, Senior Partner at McKinsey, says the survey findings point to the driving of a more competitive market where low cost and low carbon tariffs, products and services will be the key differentiators of the future.

“The ‘gamification’ of energy services and rising demand for energy-as-a-service offerings will create new opportunities for suppliers to increase long-term customer loyalty and to both decarbonise and cut household bills.”