Navigating the Energy Crisis: Insights from Raconteur’s Interview


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Question the journalist would like answered:

With energy costs rising and people facing the choice between heating and eating, where is the innovation, digital transformation and future-thinking change coming that will replace the incumbent methods we’ve had for decades?

On April 8th, the government launched a “wide-ranging £375 million package of support for innovative energy technologies that will power British homes and businesses for decades to come and further strengthen the nation’s energy security.”

But what does this mean, what does it take in – and will this be enough?

In this piece, I am exploring both the innovative, but also the traditional, solutions to truly help some of the most vulnerable in society with energy/fuel poverty in the years ahead. This can also include small businesses struggling too due to energy costs.

From AI to new energy platforms aimed at savings, what will fix this broken system – whether through new ideas or new technology?

Chantel Scheepers, Chief Executive Officer of OakTree Power

“SMEs have often been ignored in a polarised national conversation around the impact of the energy crisis, which has often involved households and energy-intensive industries. However, we have identified 20 million smaller businesses who have been equally hit by the soaring prices, particularly in urban areas. With reports of a potential recession gaining traction, SMEs absolutely need to shield themselves from a worsening energy crisis, as government handouts are simply not sustainable and will fall short soon. It takes something more ‘smart’ and scalable to fight back, and that is why we are actively advocating for the wider adoption of demand side response (DSR) programmes not only in the UK, but across Europe as well.

The technology has allowed us to alleviate the mounting pressure of bills across multiple companies and property portfolios in cost-effective fashion, as it enables large buildings to identify their adjustable electricity load (or, simply put, their non-essential electricity) for the first time. This is followed by an intelligent modulation of energy usage for short periods of time, without sacrificing performance whatsoever.

To give you an idea, under the scheme an average commercial building in London can save £112,500 in energy savings along with 112,500 kg of CO2, plus a projected earning of £15,000 paid by the grid for the contribution.

Thanks to this groundbreaking technology, not only are businesses reducing energy usage – its smart modulation system continuously reduces non-critical consumption over time. This enables SMEs to tap into the most precious kilowatt there is – the one that you don’t use or learn to use at a time that’s cheaper. Moreover, the participation in these programmes allows companies to further protect themselves financially by getting rewarded by grid operators for helping balance the electricity network during times of grid stress – all for no capital investment whatsoever.”

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