Bristol shines a light on the best of community energy innovation
Teams gather at Bristol & Bath Science Park to compete in a national energy competition
Three finalists have been selected after a national competition was held at the Bristol & Bath Science Park which invited teams to use open data to build services that empower communities to take more control of their energy use.
Prizes of £5,000 have been awarded to each of the three finalists:
• Energy Benchmark+ – a tool that benchmarks a home’s performance against similar homes in an area and makes suggestions for how to make improvements
• Community Energy Manager – a service which enables individuals and groups to become energy managers for their community including managing knowledge about the community use of local households and brokering energy efficiency improvements
• EnergySchools – an online service that allows students to become directly involved with energy, assess the energy efficiency of their homes and schools and initiate actions within their community.
They will now be supported by the Open Data Institute and Nesta, who ran the event, through providing access to relevant expertise and mentoring to develop their projects. Throughout the next phase of development, they will assess the potential impact of their projects. An overall winner will be chosen later this year and will receive a £40,000 prize.
The weekend-long Energy and Environment Open Data Challenge brought together 16 teams of businesses, start-ups, social enterprises and community groups to explore ways of using open data – information which is freely available for all citizens – to support communities in either group buying their energy, making community-based energy efficiency improvements or generating their own energy.
The Science Park and Centre for Modelling and Simulation (CFMS), which is based at the Park, were an appropriate backdrop for an event which had innovation at its heart.
More information on the Open Data Challenge Series can be found here: http://www.nesta.org.uk/project/the-open-data-challenge-series