Milton Keynes will be the first city in the UK to host a project that uses data, including satellite imagery, to help communities take charge of their own energy needs.
Community Action Platform for Energy (CAPE) will provide an opportunity for the city’s citizens to reduce their carbon footprint, whilst also cutting energy bills.
It will be run by SmartKlub in partnership with Milton Keynes Council, Community Action: MK, Satellite Applications Catapult, Tech Mahindra and The Open University.
The project is part funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency a public body sponsored by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.
David Morgan, co-CEO SmartKlub says: “We want local communities and businesses to shape their own future for energy to save both carbon and money.
“By working collectively with major technology providers and local action groups, we can get better deals and create better solutions for all to reduce fuel poverty and carbon emissions”.
CAPE will include a free-to-use online platform to help citizens organise and manage their own community energy schemes, such as neighbourhood insulation and roof mounted solar panels.
Crucially, because communities will be group buying the energy products and services, prices will be kept low and quality high.
Suppliers will save on administration and installation costs by using CAPE to bid for the schemes and sell in volume.
CAPE will encourage local businesses to develop lasting installation and maintenance capabilities, helping to create new jobs in Milton Keynes. CAPE is therefore able to generate the perfect environment for both the community and suppliers to work together.
In what the team believe to be a first, CAPE will supplement satellite imagery with energy and building data to find the best neighbourhoods in Milton Keynes for an energy makeover.
With Community Action MK: and researchers from the Open University, the project will co-create CAPE while learning what inspires communities to be involved.
The platform will be powered by Tech Mahindra’s digital platform and connected energy solutions.
Geoff Snelson, Director of Strategy Milton Keynes Council, said: “We will be bringing contacts and guidance to the team to ensure it delivers better energy projects for all of Milton Keynes.
“Another great addition to the MK: Smart programme.”
Robbie Macpherson, Chief Operating Officer Community Action Milton Keynes, says: “We’re delighted to be involved with this exciting pilot, which will engage our citizens in getting cheaper, greener power under their control. This pilot initiative in Milton Keynes will show what\’s possible where citizen power is concerned”.
To get involved as a citizen, community or supplier, please visit http://www.CAPEproject.co.uk. and register interest.