Mayor awards £20,000 prize to app to reduce risk of power shortages

24 June 2014

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has awarded a £20,000 prize to a small London business for a new app to help global big city households use their power more efficiently and reduce the risk of power shortages.

The prize is part of the annual international Cities Summit which brings together the world’s largest metropolises to share knowledge and ideas for a more sustainable future. The KiWi Power’s smart meter mobile application and energy service will alert householders to peak hours, remind them to switch appliances off and give energy saving advice, taking pressure off the national grid and enabling them to share in the cost savings.

From an online ‘cloud’ virtual-storage to save off-peak power, to ice cooling systems which can run on no power during peak times, five solutions made it onto the shortlist from 22 small businesses across the globe which answered the Mayor’s challenge to reduce the amount of electricity used at peak times.

These new ideas aim to mobilise Londoners and smaller businesses to help the city maintain its fast paced growth without putting extra strain on the national grid. The Cities Summit, being held this week at City Hall, invites businesses and entrepreneurs from some of the world’s largest and most influential cities to share ideas about how to tackle the challenges that we all face.

The £20,000 prize, supported by event sponsor Citi, will help Kiwi Power to take their energy saving solution to the marketplace.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “Inventive and forward thinking ideas like these are the key to a brighter and more sustainable future. By nurturing London’s most innovative small businesses, and sharing knowledge and information with our international counterparts, we aim to maintain London’s position as a world leader in pioneering eco-business solutions and ensure this city is at the heart of securing a better future for us all.”

Stamatis Kasmas, Technology Deployment Manager at KiWi Power, said: "We are a smart grid company that specialises in managing the demand side of energy consumption for industrial and commercial customers. Our involvement in the Cities Summit competition and the awarded prize money will help us open up the residential demand response market and further develop and commercialise our technologies. Greater adoption of demand response in London homes will massively reduce the risk of black outs, reduce CO2 emissions and drive electricity prices down."

UK Country Officer at Citi, James Bardrick said: “Congratulations to KiWi Power for their winning submission. All five of the shortlisted ideas have demonstrated fresh and innovative solutions to this ever-growing problem. Citi is delighted to have been involved in this award, we have an on-going commitment to providing support to initiatives such as these that enable progress not only in London, but in cities across the globe. Through our Citi for Cities initiative, we partner with governments, businesses, citizens and communities to identify and implement solutions that help generate jobs, increase efficiency and ultimately enhance quality of life in cities around the world.”

Among the finalists was London based Moixa Technology with a battery storage system that can store off-peak electricity to during off-peak times and provides power for low voltage electrical items such as lighting and household electronic devices.

Simon Daniel, CEO Moixa Technology said: “Londoners beating the electricity challenge is a key problem for growing cities, worried about keeping the lights and electronics online in peak hours. Being a London finalist with our MASLOW smart storage system is fantastic, has led to increased interest by European utility companies and investors in our technology, and raised opportunity to help lower bills and improve energy security for households.”

Hosted in London for the first time in its five year history, and confirming London’s position as a forward thinking and innovative world city, the Cities Summit event is running from 23 – 25 June 2014.

Notes to editors

  • The Cities Summit event is running from 23-26 June and will include delegates from 30 global cities.
  • For more information please visit http://citiessummit.evolero.com/program and https://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/business-economy/for-business/citie....
  • Events include:
    • 23 June (Kings Place) Peer-to-Peer learning session – ‘urban service innovation’ - City government delegates will spend the afternoon in conversation, exploring common barriers, exchanging knowledge and sharing solutions.
    • 24 June (City Hall) A seminar where delegates will take part in debates and discussions developed with Intelligence Squared and Citymart highlighting London as a marketplace for innovation and learning from other cities who have found solutions for urban problems which could potentially be scaled up for export worldwide.
    • 25 June (Various Locations) Four study tours for delegates to learn about smart cities, renewable energy, social innovation and sustainable development projects taking place in London.
    • The Mayor is keen to act swiftly to avoid pressure on the national system affecting the city’s power supply. With London’s population expected to grow by an additional 1 million in the next ten years, Ofgem suggests the risk of blackouts could increase from virtually zero today to a one in 12 over the coming years. The entries for London’s Cities summit competition seek to address this issue by mobilising Londoners and smaller businesses to reduce energy consumption at peak times.
    • The five shortlisted ideas to answer London’s challenge: 1. Calmac (London, UK): allows a building’s cooling system to make ice which acts as stored cooling. This ice is then melted when cooling is demanded, instead of using power at peak time. 2. Graham Oakes Ltd (Northwich, UK): a ‘cloud’ service that predicts the state of the national grid and uses the energy capacity of large numbers of household and business electrical devices as a virtual store to reduce demand when the strain on the national grid is high. 3. KiWi Power (London, UK): have created a smart meter mobile application and energy service which lets householders know when its peak time and reminds them to switch appliances off taking pressure off the grid and enables them to share in the cost savings. It also provides energy saving tips and games. 4. Moixa Technology (London, UK): a battery storage/photovoltaic arrangement that can store off-peak electricity to during off-peak times and provides power for low voltage electrical items such as lighting and household electronic devices e.g. LED lights, computers, wireless boxes. 5. Energy Assets (Livingston, UK) – smart grid technology which enables communication down power lines to switch specific energy supply on or off remotely so that items such as storage heaters in social housing could be used during off peak hours and then turned off.