Sustainable energy innovations that save time and money

The sustainable energy revolution is inspiring new technology development that can reduce businesses’ operational costs and environmental impact.
10 July 2018

Mathew Holloway, Q-Bot’s CEO with Tina Drury, Managing Director of Q-Bot’s first official partner, Your Homes Newcastle. Source: Q-Bot

Transitioning to a sustainable clean energy future has huge benefits for businesses and the planet alike.

But it requires innovative technology to solve the energy trilemma of achieving security, affordability, and sustainability.

But it’s clear there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to reducing electricity consumption and CO2 output.

However, increasingly, new solutions are being delivered by smart startups.

Last month, several innovative energy-reducing technologies were recognized at the annual Ashden Awards – an event that aims to support and highlight businesses making waves in the sustainable energy space.

By reducing energy use, companies can boost its green credentials, while also significantly cutting its operational costs.

Switchee is helping landlords do this with its smart thermostat, that is similar to British Gas’s Hive system, but which works without wifi or mobile phone apps.

The technology helps reduce the energy use of housing stock by up to 15 percent by automatically adjusting a household’s heating system with minimal interaction from residents.

It works by using a range of sensors to understand occupancy and thermal performance.

The technology’s potential impact is significant because in the UK alone there are more than five-million social housing homes and around 4.1 million adults in those homes that are not online, according to Ashden.

As well as helping landlords and housing associations deliver better outcomes for their tenants, by collecting data, it can also help fight fuel poverty in the UK.

In a similar vein, Q-Bot can help reduce the energy use of housing stock by insulating homes faster, quicker and with less fuss. Using the firm’s specially designed robot, a layer of insulation can be laid beneath suspended floors.

This means there is no need to pull up carpets or create disruption because Q-Bot’s robots can gain access through the exterior wall or a small hole in the floor and use onboard sensors to create dynamic 3D maps to guide installation and identify hazards.

The technology can reduce heat loss through the floor by an average of 80 percent saving 700 kg of CO2 per year on average.

Lastly, Energy Local CIC is helping local communities and businesses use locally generated renewable energy.

Taking advantage of new smart meter technology, the company can reduce the often large discrepancies in the amount paid and the amount generators earn from distributed, renewable energy generated at a local level with its match tariff.

It essentially allows households to match their use to local renewables, reducing their bills and giving more value to the generator.

For a local community in Wales the technology created an average saving of 24 percent on electricity bills and matched 52 percent of electricity demand with local hydro generation.

To realize a sustainable energy future and cut CO2 emissions, electricity waste must be reduced and more renewable energy used when possible.

And companies can often have the biggest impact in making this happen. By investing in smart energy technology, firms can reduce costs and energy waste and have better control over their overall operational costs.