Equiwatt's app for incentivising the shift of energy consumption from peak times. Image: Equiwatt.

Equiwatt’s app for incentivising the shift of energy consumption from peak times. Image: Equiwatt.

Six energy technology companies have been selected for a business growth programme run by the Energy Systems Catapult.

In this round, the third of the ‘innovator challenge’, the Catapult was looking for digital and data-focused SMEs working on solutions to help create a smarter, more flexible energy system.

The companies are to receive tailored business and technical support both from the Catapult’s in-house technical services, tools and expertise and from its network of around 40 businesses, with the intention of speeding up the process of either getting their products to market or scaling up.

Digital Engineering, one of the companies to win the backing of the Innovator Support Platform, has developed technology to monitor the impact of weather on overhead lines, optimising investment by providing a clearer understanding of asset deterioration over time.

Rob Sunderland, managing director of Digital Engineering, pointed to “amazing innovations” the company has created with companies such as National Grid and SP Energy Networks previously.

“With the Catapult’s support we should be able to deliver these solutions to power transmission companies around the world. That’s a really exciting prospect and I can’t wait to get started,” Sunderland added.

Equiwatt, another of the companies selected, incentivises consumers to save energy at peak times through an app-based rewards scheme. Its digital platform monitors periods of peak demand, tracks home energy use via smart meters and helps households automatically turn off appliances during peak time events.

Households then earn points based on the amount of energy moved off peak, which can be exchanged for vouchers or smart products.

It bears a similarity to other energy management apps such as GenGame and Chameleon, aimed at reducing or shifting domestic energy consumption.

OrxaGrid, a software company that has developed a platform that can process grid data to produce insights into how to reduce energy losses and increase overall efficiency, has also been selected.

It has also developed a range of devices for building a smarter grid, including sensors that monitor the performance of transformers and overhead lines to continuously measure and detect outages and disturbances.

Smart Power Networks, another company selected, has created an “all-in-a-box solution” for creating a flexible and secure electricity grid, monitoring the system and enabling real-time control and protection of energy assets.

Anastasios Oulis Rousis, managing director and founder of Smart Power Networks, said working with the Catapult will help refine and improve the company’s offerings across “various dimensions”.

Another winner was Energeo, which uses geospatial big data such as satellite imagery to identify the most ideal locations for low carbon technology.

The last company, Scene Connect, has developed a digital platform allowing suppliers to sell heat and power as a service by calculating bespoke tariffs.

Its technology can also be used for trading energy with other local homes and businesses.

Paul Jordan, business lead for innovator support and international at the Energy Systems Catapult, said the Catapult was “blown away” by the variety of businesses that applied to the Innovator Challenge.

“Whittling it down to just six was not easy, but we are very pleased with the third cohort of SMEs to join our Innovator Support Platform,” Jordan said, adding that the Catapult knows the “complex challenges” the sector poses and will work hard to help the businesses “maximise their impact through a blend of support services tailored to their needs”.