Bristol energy project identifies energy-as-a-service opportunities

The Bristol Energy Smart Systems Transformation (BESST) project has said energy-as-a-service models provide exciting opportunities after six months of study.

On 15 August, the project – a partnership including Regen, Bristol Energy and Bristol City Council – was published. It looked to explore and identify innovative ways of selling energy that use digital technologies to enable greater use of low carbon generation. It focused on five energy service propositions considered achievable in the near-term.

These propositions were local generation tariff; power and storage asset installation; heat asset installation; heat-as-a-service; and an EV fleet tariff. Among the key findings were that cost reductions for batteries and heat pumps mean asset installation propositions are not just viable, but potentially attractive. Furthermore, in a citywide project such as BESST, economies of scale in procurement and installation make it possible to finance, install and manage low-carbon technologies in homes and businesses otherwise unable to afford them.

It did note challenges remained for each of the propositions that could be rectified through pilots, while there are also regulatory and policy barriers that need to be overcome. The report made a series of policy recommendations with regards to this, including the allowing of meter splitting through Code Modification of P379, local balancing of generation and demand to be rewarded through charging structure as proposed by shared access, and for decarbonisation costs to be incorporated into gas prices to make renewable heat propositions more competitive.