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Q ENERGY > News & Blogs > Blogs > Manchester based technology business wins £2.2 million smart energy systems demonstrator project

Manchester based technology business wins £2.2 million smart energy systems demonstrator project

Posted by: Q Energy
Category: Blogs

Manchester based technology start-up – Qbots Energy  have been awarded a £2.2 million project as part of the Power Forward Challenge by the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Qbots Energy is the project lead of this smart energy services demonstrator project, ENERGY-IQ, serving office buildings, retail, hospitality, data centres and light industrial sites in Greater Manchester and beyond.

This demonstrator project will include 40 sites across the UK with a mix of half-hourly meters and smart meters, benefiting at least 35 business customers in 2020. Qbots Energy will work with Bruntwood, Penso Power and Manchester Metropolitan University on the demonstrators in the UK. ICONICS will deliver at least four sites in Canada to the project.

ICONICS will be providing the connectivity technology with hardware provided by the technology partner HildebrandEnergy Systems Catapult will carry out independent user research and customer surveys, along with Dunsky Energy Consulting who are bringing their expertise in the Canadian market. Hildebrand are already working with energy suppliers and SME businesses in the UK as part of the smart metering roll-out.

The Power Forward Challenge is a joint initiative between the UK and Canadian governments to develop the best smart energy systems, including grids and storage, for the needs of the 21st Century, supporting the UK Industrial Strategy Clean Growth Grand Challenge.

The finalist teams were announced on June 20, 2019, during the Rushlight Summer Showcase in London. The 7 finalist teams were selected from a group of 44 project proposals received in a highly competitive process.

The solutions were pitched to a panel of expert judges representing grid operators, corporates, investors and governments at two pitch events held in Glasgow in May 2019 and in Ottawa in early June 2019.

We are really excited about winning this project. This will give us a boost to further our partnerships and establish ourselves in the UK market while also exploring global markets. This also provides validation for our data-driven digital approach for accelerating carbon emissions reduction

ENERGY-IQ will provide the necessary tools for businesses to become carbon neutral, by making it easier for them to adopt renewable generation, battery storage and demand management technologies.

Instead of getting an energy contract and buying energy management services separately, Qbots will bring them together though its smart energy service agreements. The technological advancement and business model innovation achieved through this project will enable Qbots to provide businesses with cheaper energy bills with up to 30% savings and lower carbon emissions, while managing their energy intensive assets efficiently.

Qbots have recently launched their new AI driven intermediary service called Q-Energy (, which helps businesses to switch to cheaper energy tariffs and also receive energy management services through their platform

Businesses are faced by increasing energy costs. They will be 45% higher in 2020 compared to 2016 levels. With more distributed renewable and Electric Vehicles being connected to the energy system, without smarter energy management the various time-of-use based charges in the bill are predicted to increase further.

A smarter energy system is estimated to give benefits of up to £2.4-8 billion a year to the consumers by 2030 (Carbon trust, 2016). In the current model there is no incentive for suppliers to reduce the energy costs for businesses. Industrial sites and large supermarkets have even been able to earn new revenues deploying smart controls and energy storage solutions.

These interventions are however not viable for the medium size half-hourly metered customers (over 120,000 in UK) and over 2 million smaller sites part of the smart metering rollout. These businesses lack the time and resources to proactively monitor and take actions for energy efficiency and demand shifting.

Q-Energy are looking to scale up to serve 2200 business customer sites in the next 3 years in the UK with annual carbon savings of over 300,000 tonnes of CO2eq.

ENERGY-IQ project will also give Qbots the opportunity to work with global companies like ICONICS and Dunsky, helping to trial their new innovative data-driven energy services in Canada.

Qbots Energy have been selected as part of the GM’s Global Scale Up programme supported by KPMG, Santander, DWP and Manchester Airport Group. Run by the Growth Company the programme will provide access to a set of global experts, international growth tools, global market opportunities and an exclusive peer to peer network of companies who have scaled their businesses globally.

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