UK Energy Supplier Centrica To Trial Blockchain For Energy Trading

Announcements, Blockchain | May 1, 2018 By:

British utility Centrica has teamed with blockchain startup LO3 Energy to explore how a distributed ledger system can be used to help consumers save on energy.

Centrica is a multinational energy and services company with its headquarters in Windsor, Berkshire. Its principal activity is the supply of electricity and gas to businesses and consumers in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and North America. It is the largest supplier of gas to domestic customers in the UK, and one of the largest suppliers of electricity, operating under the trade names Scottish Gas in Scotland and British Gas in England and Wales.

New York Based LO3 Energy is building a platform to enable decentralized business models and innovative technologies related to energy, cleantech, and utility systems. The company builds tools and develops projects to support and accelerate the proliferation of the distributed energy, utilities, and computation-sharing economy of the future. Its flagship project, the Brooklyn Microgrid, was the world’s first blockchain-based microgrid.

The two companies will work together to test blockchain’s potential in peer-to-peer (p2p) energy trading. Using LO3’s data platform, the companies will test a range of energy trading transactions including multi-party p2p trading between 200 businesses and residential participants.

The project will be part of Centrica’s Local Energy Market (LEM) project, which has been established by Centrica Business Solutions to test the role of distributed generation and storage in supporting local grid flexibility in the south west of England.

Centrica is also working with LO3 on a North American trial to produce the world’s first micro-hedging market for business customers. Run by Direct Energy Business, Centrica’s North America Business unit, the trial aims to cut costs and improve efficiency for commercial businesses in Texas through an innovative new business-to-business energy network.

The North American trial will use LO3’s platform to offer large commercial and industrial companies the opportunity to place their own orders for customized power hedges that are then matched with the best offer in a competitive system.

Mark Hanafin, Chief Executive of Centrica Business said the proliferation of digital technologies is having a significant impact on the energy industry, allowing them to find new and better ways of delivering energy and services to their customers.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to test blockchain technology beyond the theoretical and put it into practice, developing innovative new solutions that will empower consumers in the UK, North America and beyond to take control of how they engage with energy,” Hanafin said.