Are you a passive user in the energy system, or an active player?

Pioneering a new story of climate leadership

The community involved in the Living Grid is pioneering a new mindset for corporate leadership on climate change that puts people – and life – back into our energy network.  

Until recently, corporate energy users had no choice but to play an isolated, passive role in because it was impossible to communicate with the energy network or one another in real time.  Thanks to digital technologies, there are now all sorts of ways organisations can use and generate energy in a more responsive, cooperative – more sociable – way.  

The pioneering community involved in the Living Grid is embracing these digital capabilities to shift how they participate: from being passive users of energy from a static network to playing an active part in a dynamic system. By choosing to play an active role in moving energy around the system and in helping to keep the supply and demand for energy in balance, they are driving important changes in the dynamics of how energy is generated, delivered and used that can make our legacy grid better-able to exploit renewable energy.  

Every organisation that makes the shift from being a passive user in the energy system to being an active player is unlocking extra carbon and energy savings in the system beyond their operations and value chains. We’re making this part of our sustainability strategies.

How we are creating impact

We’re creating impact by taking a cooperative approach that showcases the impact of a critical mass of organisations changing how they participate in the energy grid.

Through joint communications, learning and action, members of the pioneering community involved in the Living Grid are demonstrating how their individual efforts to shift from being passive users to active participants in the energy system can transform the energy network. They are showcasing how an interactive energy network can operate, how quickly it can form, it’s improved ability to exploit renewable sources of energy – and the extra carbon and energy savings they’re unlocking across the network, by improving its operational efficiency.

Our goal is to build a critical mass of twenty organisations – representing a combined flexible capacity of 250MW – to demonstrate a new future for energy that’s within reach if we choose it. Each new member of the community counts as they increase the power behind our story.

By aligning and cooperating their independent efforts as part of the Living Grid, members of the pioneering community are:

  • Driving a new mindset and story of corporate leadership on climate leadership: that energy users can transform our static network by changing how they participate in it
  • Celebrating the aggregated carbon and energy savings they’re realising for the system at large, through small (almost invisible) changes in their own operations
  • Tackling an underlying cause of the rising energy security risks they’re facing in the UK that result from an incompatibility between our legacy network and renewable energy.

SmartestEnergy is helping to grow the community in 2017. The first members to join in 2016 are: Aggregate Industries, Sainsbury’s, Tarmac, United Utilities and Open Energi.

Be part of the community

Are you applying digital technologies to allow you to use and generate energy in a more responsive and cooperative way?  Are you interested in the part digital technologies and corporate energy users can play in driving a more systemic approach to the energy transition? If so, perhaps you could join us.

Forum for the Future and SmartestEnergy are reaching out to champions, collaborators and other potential funders to develop the Living Grid as a demonstrator project and as movement for change in energy.  The community of organisations that’s involved so far is a diverse mix of academic partners, technology providers, community energy groups, local authorities and experts in energy, digital technologies, biomimicry and living systems design.

Please get in touch to find out more about how your organisation can participate.

Gemma Adams | g.adams@forumforthefuture.org

Heidi Hauf | h.hauf@forumforthefuture.org

George Harding-Rolls | g.harding-rolls@forumforthefuture.org