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Climate change hackathon studies London’s electricity consumption

Bright young minds have been turning Low Carbon London research data into climate change solutions as part of a global environmental ‘hackathon’.

From Press releases - 23 June 2015 12:00 AM

Bright young minds have been turning Low Carbon London research data into climate change solutions as part of a global environmental ‘hackathon’.

Residential electricity consumption data from thousands of homes in London was released to London’s Climate-KIC ‘Climathon’ by UK Power Networks, which delivers electricity supplies across London, the South East and East Anglia.

Climate-KIC, the EU’s main climate innovation partnership, took part in a global 24-hour hackathon happening simultaneously in major cities across six continents around the world. The Westminster event ran from 1pm Thursday to 1pm Friday and was divided into five challenges, including energy, water and waste.

UK Power Networks’ Low Carbon London smart meter data took centre stage at the event. Together with research partners, Imperial College London and EDF Energy, the company collected electricity consumption data from 5,500 homes, including 1,100 who took part in day-ahead electricity price trials via smart meter displays or text messages.

Graduates, entrepreneurs and technology buffs used the data to suggest ways of helping Londoners shift or reduce their electricity demand for maximum gain. The teams also tried to map energy supply and demand assets in London to deliver cost-efficient savings.

Michael Clark, project director for Low Carbon London at UK Power Networks, said: “This is the best data available on electricity consumption and we’ve made it public for the first time via the London Datastore. It offers the clearest insight yet into residential electricity consumption in our capital.

“We are excited to see years of research taking centre stage at an event which is about bringing together clever and enquiring individuals to find innovative answers to the city’s carbon challenge, while enhancing the lives of Londoners.”

Matthew Pencharz, the Mayor’s Senior Advisor for Environment and Energy said: “How we manage energy consumption as demand increases is a key issue for London and the data provided by UK Power Networks will be crucial in finding solutions. City Hall is looking forward to building on this work with a range of partners to help Londoners benefit from shifting their peak power demand.”

Teams with the best ideas will be selected to develop their idea into a viable solution for the cities. The best ideas will be presented at the United Nations conference on climate change in November.

All the Low Carbon London data was anonymised to protect the privacy of customer data. The Low Carbon London smart meter trials examined whether time-of-use tariffs could help flatten peaks on the electricity network, lower electricity distribution costs and make better use of green energy.