LEP funds UK’s first flexible electricity supply offer
18 March 2015
Today, technology company Tempus Energy will launch a completely new type of electricity supply. The Camden based start-up received a £250,000 investment from the London Enterprise Panel’s Growing Places Fund to develop demand-flexibility technology to help customers avoid high peak-time electricity prices, in a way that does not interrupt their daily routine.
Tempus founder and CEO Sara Bell explains:
“For too long, the electricity system has focused purely on delivering profits for generators, rather than value for customers. Customers deserve a system which is smart and efficient enough to do both.”
Incumbent energy suppliers have repeatedly come under fire for failing to reduce retail prices when wholesale prices drop, while price rises are quickly passed onto customers. Tempus has developed a technology platform that can automatically shift usage away from expensive times and into periods when prices are lower. This allows customers to reduce their electricity bill and carbon footprint at the same time. Furthermore, the equipment is automated, so doesn’t require any prior understanding of the energy system.
Matthew Pencharz, Senior Adviser for Environment and Energy to the Mayor of London, said:
“The Mayor wants Londoners to have more choice over how they can manage their energy usage. We are investing £250,000 into this innovative new approach by Tempus Energy, which will help homes and businesses in London use electricity more flexibly, leading to lower bills and greater energy efficiency.”
The offer is targeted at business and domestic customers who have appliances that can be managed remotely to draw varying amounts of power from the grid at different times. Customers decide how flexible they want to be with their electricity usage, but the more flexible customers will enjoy higher savings. Bell, who has a background in risk management and energy network cost optimisation, created Tempus to prove that such both wholesale and network costs can be minimised.
“Tempus Energy will trade power in a completely different way, which reduces costs at every single point in the supply chain, including network and imbalance costs. We are free to pass these savings onto customers because we don’t own generation stations, so we have no incentive to buy expensive peak-time power.”
The launch event will take place at City Hall and will begin with a panel debate on tackling climate change through commercial innovation. The debate will be chaired by Tim Yeo MP, chairman of Parliament’s Energy and Climate Change Select Committee. In addition to Yeo and Bell, panel guests include Matthew Pencharz; Edward Lucas, Energy Editor of The Economist; and Rachel Fletcher, Senior Partner at Ofgem.
Tempus’ market entry coincides with its first crowdfunding offer. It hopes to raise between £500,000 and £1m by selling shares to the UK public on Crowdcube. Investors and other supporters of clean-tech innovation are also encouraged to participate.