Renewable electricity supplier Tonik Energy has teamed up with clean tech firm Powervault to trial a ‘revolutionary’ smart electricity tariff model designed to cut bills by bringing battery storage into more UK households, the two firms will announce today.
The joint collaboration will see Powervault’s domestic energy storage units trialled by Tonik Energy customers who have smart meters in place, enabling the two companies to assess the potential of the offering more customers a smart tariff for their electricity.
The companies said their aim was to provide a proof of concept for the UK’s first storage tariff, enabling customers to save on bills by storing excess energy drawn down at off-peak times that could later be used by households during periods of peak energy demand.
By automatically charging when demand is low and electricity is cheap – often at night time – and discharging during peak times, Powervault said its system, combined with Tonik Energy’s smart tariff, could cut homeowners’ electricity bills by up to 35 per cent.
The two companies said the government’s aim to install a smart meter in every UK household by 2020 – a target which it is in a race to meet – was providing a “gateway to intelligent tariffs” via in-home battery storage systems.
Joe Warren, Powervault’s managing director, said he hoped to turn the existing energy supply model on its head “by rethinking the way electricity is generated and consumed”.
“Historically, domestic energy storage has been associated primarily with the 900,000 UK homes equipped with solar panels, but a much larger market is starting to emerge, enabled by the smart meter rollout,” said Warren.
Tonik Energy said the trial was an “important step” in the company’s overarching ambition to use technology and data to halve customers’ bills by 2022.
“The next decade is going to see huge change as homeowners get genuine insight into energy usage combined with access to smart, in-home, energy efficient technologies that will help you use less energy, access cheaper energy and generate your own energy,” said Chris Russell Tonik Energy’s MD. “We believe it is entirely possible for the customer to save money and be good to the planet without compromising on home comforts.”
The trial is not the first smart tariff to be offered to renewable energy consumers. Earlier this year Green Energy UK announced that its smart meter customers were now being offered a ‘Time of Day Tariff’ which sees prices vary between low and peak period of electricity demand.
The announcement comes days after new research from consultancy WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff revealed how energy-related carbon emissions vary significantly throughout the day.
The study explored how shifting energy demand during the day could help slash carbon emissions by ensuring power is accessed when it is at its cleanest.