06 Jan 2016

OU research could slash energy bills in Milton Keynes

The Open University is developing the UK’s first community based website that will allow people in Milton Keynes to have greater control of their energy needs. Through the use of interactive data analytics and information from local energy suppliers, individuals or groups can more effectively use the resources available.

The Community Action Platform for Energy (CAPE) will be run by SmartKlub in partnership with Milton Keynes Council, Community Action: MK, Satellite Applications Catapult, Tech Mahindra and The Open University. The £626,803 project is part funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency a public body sponsored by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

The project team will develop an interactive data analytics platform and website designed to assess energy use for individuals and communities in Milton Keynes. Using the CAPE website people in Milton Keynes will, for example be able to understand how much heat their home is losing compared with people in their neighborhood, community or across the whole of Milton Keynes.

The website will be made available free of charge to residents, community groups, landlords and local businesses. It will give them a ready-to-use tool to jump-start and plan community energy projects.
Researchers from the Ubiquitous Computing Laboratory at the OU’s Department of Computing and Communications and the Institute for Social Marketing at The Open University Business School will combine high-resolution aerial and satellite data with open energy data to support the project.

Sally Dibb, OU Professor of Marketing says: “By bringing social science techniques to communities, we can make a breakthrough in learning what residents need from community energy schemes and how we can motivate others to get involved.”

Gerd Kortuem, OU Professor of Computing added: “We will make the power of urban data analytics available to citizens of Milton Keynes, to help them to identify new community energy projects and maximise energy saving.”

Customers and supplier are being asked to register their interest in the project now at:

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