Read about Upside Energy on Nesta’s new Challenge Prize website

 In Awards, News

NESTA-Logo“Every time you flick a switch, somewhere a power station has to work a little harder.

If too many people flick a switch at the same time, then the grid’s got problems.  It simply can’t afford to keep enough power stations sitting around waiting, ready to turn on when we need them.

I’d never really thought about this.  I use electricity like the rest of us – it’s just there, a fact of life.  I know I could do things to use it more efficiently: insulate my house, turn off lights when I don’t need them, and so on.  I’d never really thought about the timing, the fact that peaks and troughs in the energy flows can have a big impact on the grid.

That all changed in August 2013, when I came across the Dynamic Demand Challenge, run by Nesta and sponsored by National Grid and the National Physical Laboratory.  They were looking for ways to encourage people to shift their energy use away from peak times.  If we could do that, we’d reduce stress on the grid, letting it run more cheaply and reliably, and with fewer greenhouse gas emissions.”

To find out how the Nesta Dynamic Demand Challenge kicked off an exciting journey for the Upside Energy team, read the blog post by Upside’s CEO, Graham Oakes, on Nesta’s new Challenge Prize website.