11th September 2014

Energy Management for Buildings – 10 Ideas for the Future


In October 2013, the Technology Strategy Board and the Research Councils’ UK Energy Programme launched a competition. In order to “stimulate innovation in the field of energy management for existing buildings”; the two bodies pledged to invest up to £4m in collaborative research and development.

The results of the competition are in, and you can read all about the 10 winning project proposals in a PDF produced by the Technology Strategy Board.

Taken as a whole, these 10 proposals provide a valuable insight into the viable future of energy management for buildings.

Given the advances of building energy management systems in recent years, it is no surprise to see a few proposals for advanced new management systems amongst the winners. Of particular note is the Thermionix Predictive/Adaptive Energy Consumption Control System (PEACCS), which predicts a building’s energy demands before “balancing the timing and amount of energy used to minimise costs”.

In the retail sector, Cybula Limited, Asda Stores, the Centre for Low Carbon Futures and Leeds Metropolitan University proposed a Retail Energy Management System (REMS). The system will make use of pattern matching tools in order to compare performances between stores. If anomalies are detected over time, “normalisation models” will let managers know exactly where they should act, and how.

Meanwhile, E2E Services Ltd will lead a project with Bath & West Community Energy Ltd, Encraft Ltd, and The University of Nottingham. It’s called EMPower, and it aims to optimise “energy generation and usage at the community level rather than building level”. Based on the idea that communities with their own electricity generation and storage capabilities could have a lower carbon footprint, EMPower strives to give communities a greater say in how their electricity is generated and managed.

Other noteworthy projects include a range of carbon reduction options for landlords and housing managers; a smart in-building micro-grid for energy management; and MyCloudControl, which is described as a “robust, self-learning cloud-based heating control platform” for homeowners.

Overall, there are 10 successful proposals, each of which has succeeded in the assessment stage of the competition. However, all are still subject to grant offers and conditions being met.