North of Tyne Combined Authority

Pilot to bring down energy bills in North East takes important step forward

March 21, 2024
QSecGrid and QGEMS CEO Gordon Winston with North Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll

A pilot to tackle the cost-of-living crisis by bringing down energy bills in the North East, took an important step forward today, as North of Tyne Combined Authority and North American technology firm, QSecGrid, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

The agreement paves the way for a close working relationship between the two organisations to pilot a community, virtual power plant in the North of Tyne.

A community virtual power plant is the cumulative effect of thousands of homes storing energy and selling it back to the grid during peak demand.  Residents are in control of selling energy generated from solar panels and stored in their own battery. When combined, it's estimated a community virtual powerplant could provide enough power to meet peak demand, meaning the National Grid wouldn’t need turn on a gas fired power station.

Controlled through a smartphone or tablet, QSecGrid’s app ‘QGEMS’ uses advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) to learn how energy is used in the home to make smart recommendations to residents, to help them save money on bills. It also monitors the weather to predict solar energy generation and calculates when energy is in the highest demand, to enable residents to sell energy they are not using back to the grid, at the highest price.

It’s estimated the pilot will save residents hundreds of pounds off their bills each year, without having to switch suppliers, over and above the value of the electricity generated by their solar panels.

The agreement between the North of Tyne Combined Authority and QSecGrid will enable a pilot in the North of Tyne to take place in real world conditions, by identifying a local social housing provider to work with and trial the technology.  

With the cost of installing solar panels being out of the reach for many, it’s envisioned the pilot will open the door for lower-income families to benefit from lower energy bills.

This is the Green New Deal in action. This is putting local people back in control – you can save money on your bills and make money. You don’t need to change your supplier and it’s not being dictated by energy companies. We’re going to need to triple the grid capacity in this country to deal with the demand for energy. And that demand will continue to grow as we build more homes, and more people drive electric cars. I want everyone who has a roof to have this technology and benefit from lower bills.

Jamie Driscoll, Mayor of North of Tyne

We are excited that the North East is becoming our UK base. Because of its depth in tech talent and the progressive nature of the green policies of Mayor Jamie Driscoll, it provides us an exciting opportunity to demonstrate how our technological prowess can lower energy bills and contribute to a cleaner environment, as well as growing our development team, in partnership with local universities.

Gordon Winston, CEO of QSecGrid

About North of Tyne Combined Authority

The North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) was created in 2018, when the UK Parliament signed off a £1.2 billion devolution deal covering Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside. Working closely with partners across the private and public sector, it is responsible for projects which boost growth, create jobs and will deliver a greener and more inclusive economy. In its first five years, the authority has invested over £250 million in projects which will deliver 5,000 jobs, over 2,000 new homes and more than 30,000 new learning opportunities. These initiatives have secured more than £300 million of private sector investment.

About QsecGrid

QSecGrid is a Delaware-based, cloud technology company with UK headquarters in Newcastle. They have been developing a data controlled operating system over the last 8 years. This is now being commercialised in the energy sector through QGEMS Limited, a UK subsidiary. QGEMS mission statement is to accelerate the global growth and adoption of sustainable energy through a ready-made platform and framework for rapid interconnectivity, high fidelity data reporting.

The technology

QSecGrid’s smart software known as ‘Sustainable Energy Management as a Service’ (SEMaaS) software, learns consumer behaviour and patterns of peak energy demand to sell energy for the maximum profit.

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