Unique energy market just for renewables welcomes Together Housing Association

UrbanChain and Together Housing Association partner on pioneering scheme to reduce households’ carbon footprint and energy bills

UrbanChain’s alternative energy market just for renewables has welcomed a housing association into it for the first time.

The technology company will onboard 500 Together Housing Association
(THA) homes into its market – named the peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange – which enables buyers and sellers of truly green energy to transact safely and with total transparency.

Since launching in 2017 UrbanChain has attracted multiple organisations from the public and private sectors into its green energy exchange model.

But this is the first time a housing association has joined.

It follows a successful £2 million pilot programme – jointly funded by European Regional Development Fund and Together Housing Association – which resulted in 250 homes being fitted with a solar PV and battery storage system in 2019.

Dr. Somayeh Taheri is the CEO of UrbanChain and says its P2P exchange model enables consumers to place an exact order for electricity and for generators to meet that order.

“Housing Associations are in the best place to help our objective of alleviating fuel poverty so we are delighted to be working with THA and to also provide innovative services for those who need it first.”

Dr. Taheri is looking forward to onboarding the 500 THA homes in the first instance, which include bungalows, two and three-bedroom terraces and semi-detached houses in Lancashire and Yorkshire, into the P2P market.

“We found that the homes, which all have solar panels, were tied up with suppliers and had excess capacity going to the grid for free,” she added.

“Using UrbanChain’s AI system and blockchain technology we can decouple renewable energy from the wholesale market and link them directly to the customer, enabling automated P2P exchange between them.

“We can do this as our AI system handles the intermittent behaviour of energy generators along with data challenges faced from the demand side.”

UrbanChain was established in 2017 following PhD level research which found a broken cycle in the energy market.

Based in Manchester Science Park’s Greenheys Building the company has clients in the public sector, including local authorities, as well in commercial property, retail, manufacturing, hospitality and leisure.

Consumer clients onboarded to UrbanChain’s P2P exchange platform buy 100% green energy and save up to 50% on energy bills, while energy generators earn more money in the medium to long term.

Plans are in place to onboard further THA homes into the P2P market following the successful implementation of the first 500 homes.

Patrick Berry, Director, Together Net Zero, said: “We have ambitious plans at Together Housing to install solar PV and battery systems on our homes. Working with UrbanChain in the P2P market provides an exciting opportunity to reduce power costs for our tenants while also securing a sustainable income from our renewable assets.”