UK’s largest companies share data to boost energy efficiency investment


moneyEnergy efficiency business case data shared by some of the largest companies and organisations in the UK has been made public in a bid to drive uptake of demand reduction.

The Curve platform aims to enable businesses to unlock energy efficiency investment by pooling project data across multiple business segments. Energy and sustainability managers can access and analyse the data to help build business cases for their own projects.

So far, 582 UK projects have been added to the platform, spanning insulation measures, to lighting, building management solutions, drives and controls, HVAC, renewable energy projects and demand-side response across multiple business sectors as well as the public sector.

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 14.51.16The platform collects around 15 data points for each energy project, mainly on the business case, with the company name anonymised when it enters the visible database. The key data points are; site type, technology area (lighting, control, wind, transport etc.), amount invested, the payback, a star rating for the project, comments and any recommended suppliers. This information then becomes available to everyone through the search capability, allowing people to see aggregate data and individual project data.

According to The Curve, initial analysis of the project data submitted so far shows that:

  1. Energy management is an attractive investment class. The average payback, including 80 renewable energy generation projects, is 3.6 years. When the generation projects are removed, the average payback falls to 3.3 years. 64% of the non-generation projects pay back within 3 years.
  2. This data sheds light on the significant “co-benefits” associated with energy projects. It finds on average 3 cobenefits per project, with maintenance and employee satisfaction benefits being most significant.
  3. Energy projects achieve high satisfaction ratings, which increase as projects move from assessed through to operational stages.
  4. Companies remain heavily reliant on internal cash to fund energy projects. Some 93% of the projects are self-funded.

Companies which have uploaded data span multiple sectors. They include BAE Systems, BT, Capgemini, Heathrow, Jaguar Land Rover, The Crown Estate, Toyota, Unilever, Walgreens Boots Alliance, and WPP. Including overseas projects, there are some 650 project datasets now live on the platform, representing a total project value of £510m.

While some companies may be reluctant to ‘give away IP’ by sharing data in order to help others build business cases, there are mutual benefits to be gained: According to The Curve, one of the car manufacturers has used the data on the platform to triple its energy management budget.

Now the platform, which is planning to spin-out and become a fully resourced business unit, wants other companies to share their data to help drive energy efficiency investment across the UK – and beyond.

According to Jim Woods, CEO at The Crowd, the incubator behind The Curve, the aim is to become “the TripAdvisor of energy management” in order to tackle what he sees as a market failure.

“We estimate that over 40% of commercially attractive energy projects, which are largely synonymous with carbon reduction projects, are unrealised each year,” said Woods. “In the UK alone, that’s well over £1bn worth of missed investments.”

The Curve’s next aim is to add an algorithm to examine the company data that it holds and advise firms on projects that should work, giving them key information such as market return data, the best suppliers, and drawing conclusions from user comments.

See the platform and project data here.

See the initial report here.

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