Upside Energy is an ambitious start-up based in the UK at the forefront of the new energy system whose aim is to transform the electricity industry. We aim to reduce greenhouse gases by enabling people to make smart choices about when to use energy.
Upside was created for the Nesta Dynamic Demand Challenge in London, October 2013. As one of five finalists from a field of more than seventy Hackathon entries, we found a way to reduce energy costs and environmental impacts.
At peak times, the electricity grid runs dangerously short of capacity. In order to meet demand, it turns on all its oldest, dirtiest, most expensive power stations. We’ve found a cheaper and greener way, by paying people to not use electricity at peak times. Now we’re busy making it happen.
How it works
Upside has developed a cloud service that aggregates the energy stored in systems people and businesses already own – uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), solar PV systems (solar panels), electric vehicles (EV), domestic heating systems, etc.
This creates a Virtual Energy Store™ that we can sell to the grid to help it balance supply and demand. We share the revenue we generate from these services with device owners and manufacturers.
Our end goal is to create an open platform that people can use to coordinate distributed energy storage and use it to reduce the environmental impact of the grid. Analysis by National Grid shows that we can eliminate 600 tonnes of CO2e for every MW of demand-side capacity we make available.
Our unique IP allows us to scale to 100,000’s of devices. By 2025, we aim to have 515MW of capacity under management in the UK. That would enable us to eliminate 309,000 tonnes of CO2e per annum. We simply use existing assets to time-shift existing electricity demand, so create no additional costs or inefficiencies to offset this benefit
Everyone wins. People pay less for their energy. CO2 emissions are reduced. And the grid runs more reliably and cheaply.