SmartKlub in UK first as satellites are used to identify community energy opportunities
Milton Keynes will be the first city in the UK to host the “Community Action Platform for Energy” (CAPE), a project that uses data, including satellite imagery, to help communities take charge of their own energy needs. This will provide an opportunity for the city’s citizens to reduce their carbon footprint, whilst also cutting energy bills.
CAPE will be run by SmartKlub in partnership with Milton Keynes Council, Community Action: MK, Satellite Applications Catapult, Tech Mahindra and The Open University. The project is part funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency a public body sponsored by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.
David Morgan, co-CEO SmartKlub says: “We want local communities and businesses to shape their own future for energy to save both carbon and money. By working collectively with major technology providers and local action groups, we can get better deals and create better solutions for all to reduce fuel poverty and carbon emissions”.
CAPE will include a free-to-use online platform to help citizens organise and manage their own community energy schemes, such as neighbourhood insulation and roof mounted solar panels. Crucially, because communities will be group buying the energy products and services, prices will be kept low and quality high.
Suppliers will save on administration and installation costs by using CAPE to bid for the schemes and sell in volume. CAPE will encourage local businesses to develop lasting installation and maintenance capabilities, helping to create new jobs in Milton Keynes. CAPE is therefore able to generate the perfect environment for both the community and suppliers to work together.
In what the team believe to be a first, CAPE will supplement satellite imagery with energy and building data to find the best neighbourhoods in Milton Keynes for an energy makeover. With Community Action MK: and researchers from the Open University, the project will co-create CAPE while learning what inspires communities to be involved. The platform will be powered by Tech Mahindra’s digital platform and connected energy solutions.
Geoff Snelson, Director of Strategy Milton Keynes Council, says: “We will be bringing contacts and guidance to the team to ensure it delivers better energy projects for all of Milton Keynes. Another great addition to the MK: Smart programme.”
Robbie Macpherson, Chief Operating Officer Community Action Milton Keynes, says: “We’re delighted to be involved with this exciting pilot, which will engage our citizens in getting cheaper, greener power under their control. This pilot initiative in Milton Keynes will show what’s possible where citizen power is concerned”.
For press enquiries please contact David Morgan, 07876 564043 SmartKlub or David Spencer, Edson Evers Ltd, 01785 255146 or 07818046795. Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographic reproduction – © Bluesky International Limited, in partnership with Satelitte Applications Catapult Ltd
Note to editors
Below included are quotes from all involved parties:
Says David Morgan, co-CEO SmartKlub: “Our mission is to make community energy projects commonplace for all towns and cities in the UK. Being able to start this in Milton Keynes with great partners and people shaping our ideas and methods is fantastic”
Says Prajakt Deotale, Head Consulting Services Tech Mahindra Europe: ‘The CAPE project brings an innovative approach to empowering local communities and city authorities and delivers a step change in community energy initiatives. As a Global IT software provider and connected energy systems specialist, we have significant experience in the development and delivery of large and complex software projects. This will ensure CAPE’s citizen and community vision is brought to life via a robust digital platform.”
Says Anna Klis-Davies, Community Engagement Team Community Action: MK: “The project has a real potential to bring several benefits to Milton Keynes and to the environment. Buying energy collectively will enable communities to negotiate better prices. Local businesses will have the opportunity to become suppliers, which will help to create new jobs. This model means that everyone involved wins.”
Sally Dibb, Professor of Marketing at The Open University says: “ By bringing social science techniques to communities, we can make a breakthrough in learning what residents need from community energy schemes and how we can motivate others to get involved”
Says Gerd Kortuem, Professor of Computing at The Open University: “We will make the power of urban data analytics available to citizens of Milton Keynes, to help them to identify new community energy projects and maximise energy saving.”
Stuart Martin, CEO Satellite Applications Catapult: says “Applying our revolutionary satellite imagery of buildings and the urban landscape to such an exciting project will bring many benefits to the people of Milton Keynes and UK plc.”