Online platform helps local communities plan energy saving projects

A new project in Milton Keynes aims to help local communities identify potential energy savings.

The Community Action Platform for Energy (CAPE) makes use of mapping and satellite data to provide targeted information on energy emissions and the characteristics of buildings and neighbourhoods, according to UKAuthority.

This will show residents, community groups, landlords and local businesses where there is the potential to make savings from different technologies, together with a ready-to-use tool that can be used to jump-start and scale-up energy projects.

Milton Keynes Council has launched a series of pilots, with a wider rollout across the city and in other cities anticipated later this year.

Jeremy Draper, energy manager at Milton Keynes Council, told UKAuthority that the first pilot showed people how to use CAPE to understand how they could save energy. Initially the focus was on low energy lightbulbs, but the platform has potential for several other technologies, he said.

For example, it could be used to provide data on the location and orientation of buildings to assess their suitability for solar panels. Communities could get together and go to suppliers as a group, or suppliers could identify the potential in a specific neighbourhood and approach residents with an offer.

The platform could also demonstrate the potential of technologies such as ground source heat pumps and wall insulation.

CAPE was developed by Indian IT services company Tech Mahindra in a collaboration with SAP. Funded by Innovate UK, the other partners in the project include Milton Keynes Council, the Open University and the Satellite Applications Catapult.

Mohit Mokhija, product development manager at Tech Mahindra, explained that the platform was created for local authorities, suppliers and the public to better manage energy saving projects.

“With the help of the portal you can examine the parameters of a project,” he told UKAuthority. “For example, if you want to make changes in a building it can show the effects.

“It can show the intensity of heat coming from buildings, identify those that are suitable for solar generation, and provide multiple presentations of details such as the surrounding trees and slope of the roof.

“It helps to identify areas for likely savings without going to the site.”

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