On the 24th March TRESOC will proudly launch the South West’s first Smart Local Energy System, Energy Local Totnes (ELT), a new economic driver for the development of local renewable energy.

Energy Local CIC has been setting up clubs around the country that help create local markets for power. They designed technology that uses smart meter data to allow households to club together to show they are using local, clean power when it is generated. The households then agree a price with local generators that’s better for the generators as well as reducing their own bills. For more information on how Energy Local clubs work click here.

Green Energy (GE) UK are acting as the partner energy supplier who will ensure there is enough power for the households in the club when there is not enough local electricity generated.

Totnes Town Council have officially signed a GE UK contract to supply the excess from the 15kW solar PV array on the Civic Hall, into the club. GE UK are now doing the technical work that it takes to become their energy supply company. 35 people have already registered an interest in becoming part of the club, and these will be the first customers. GE UK will start to sign these customers over at the beginning of April.

The number of customers in the club needs to balance the amount of generation. Jem Friar, the Totnes Energy Local advisor will be responsible for this matching. To start with, we will be able to sign up 10-15 people, to use the power from the Civic. Soon after the club is in operation, Harrison’s Garage intend to join the club, as they have installed a new 30kW system on the roof of their garage. This should mean roughly another 15-20 people can join, depending on the modelling. As more generation joins the club, balanced by more customers, the club can grow. This is real innovation at work. It will be the first Energy Local Club in the country to be able to grow in this way.

Energy Local Totnes will be its own co-operative, and totally independent of TRESOC, although TRESOC will be a generator member. It will have its own board, made up of generator and consumer members, who will annually set the match price for the club. The match price is the price that the generator and consumer gets, when a consumer matches their energy demand to local generation.

This is a pilot scheme, so we are looking to test the Energy Local concept locally to make sure it really will save people money before we can roll it out on a larger scale. For the first year, only solar PV will be selling into the club. With the increased rate that generators receive for their electricity many new local renewable energy projects will become economically viable. This is something that TRESOC is working hard to explore and make the most of.

To read more about the prices that the club has set for energy use, and to find out more about registering your interest head to the Energy Local Totnes page.