Partner Insight: The software putting customers at the heart of the energy revolution

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Marzia Zafar, Director of Sustainability and Policy at intelligent energy platform Kaluza, explains how energy data and digital technologies can help accelerate the net zero transition

As the UK continues to invest in more renewable energy generation, challenges around how we manage and use this energy effectively, and at true scale, are becoming more critical.

Increasing volumes of intermittent renewable power, combined with the mass electrification of heat and transport, mean that generation is becoming less predictable in tandem with rising energy demand. While we cannot control the weather, we can influence demand - but to do this, we need to incentivise customers to become active participants in the energy system.

Accurate information to spur action

The first challenge is giving customers the accurate data they need to change their behaviour, and this requires energy retailers to embrace the latest advances in technology.

Kaluza's intelligent software platform enables retailers to provide seamless, engaging experiences for their customers. From simplifying the billing process, to providing live data insights into how energy is being used across the home throughout the day, Kaluza enables energy retailers to empower their customers with accurate information personalised to them while guiding them in how to reduce their costs and carbon footprint.

Turning homes into mini green power stations

While insight into energy use is the first step towards action, customers also need the right tools to help them reduce energy costs and carbon. Energy companies need to innovate new propositions around low carbon smart devices such as electric cars, storage batteries and heat pumps in order to provide customers with simple and affordable ways to convert homes into mini green power stations.

Kaluza is working with major energy companies to innovate new propositions around electric vehicle (EV) charging and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, making it easier, greener and cheaper for customers to charge their EV and be rewarded for their role in supporting the grid. 

A tariff such as OVO Drive Anytime is one such example. The world's only type-of-use tariff, OVO Drive Anytime optimises charging which then rewards the customer with a very low rate of 6p/kWh (average rate is approximately 13p/kWh). Thanks to Kaluza's real-time technology, which coordinates charging for when energy is cheapest and greenest, this tariff enables customers to play a pivotal role in the energy transition while being protected from wholesale price spikes.

A second example is Kaluza-enabled V2G technology. The Kaluza platform uses AI to optimise V2G devices by analysing real-time signals - such as grid supply, weather and pricing data - and charging cars when prices and carbon levels are low. This technology puts customers in control, allowing them to store energy in their cars and export it back into the grid when local electricity demand increases - all while actually earning them money. Some V2G customers have been able to save up to £800 per year, meaning that they are driving for free.

Driving success at scale

The final, fundamental challenge is making this technology scalable. To radically decarbonise, and tackle increased energy demand and system volatility, we need to engage the majority of customers, not just the early adopters. 

This clear need sits at the core of Kaluza's technology, which has a highly flexible architecture designed to power millions of customer energy accounts and manage the charging of millions of flexible assets in homes. At the same time, our platform innovation caters to all customer archetypes. Customers who want to see how their EV is charging at any given moment, or compare their daily energy usage from one month to the next, can do so. Meanwhile, those who care first and foremost about price have access to a clearly presented live balance, and platform functionality that automatically calculates the best way to save on their bills.

A future powered by people

To succeed in this transition, every household should be given the tools and incentives they need to engage with their energy retailer. The key to customer mobilisation is putting an agile, flexible platform in the hands of energy retailers, to enable them to innovate and create new offerings based on the needs of their customers.

By harnessing the power of technology to empower energy retailers and provide customers with accurate, personalised data they trust, we can accelerate the energy transition toward a net zero economy.

Marzia Zafar is Director of Sustainability and Policy at intelligent energy platform Kaluza.

This article was sponsored by Kaluza.

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