Two hotels will secure affordable green energy and true carbon neutral bills having been onboarded into the peer-to-peer energy trading market by energy technology company UrbanChain.
The 4-star hotels are among the first UK hospitality operators to be enrolled into a local energy marketplace.
It follows the devastating financial impact inflicted on the hospitality sector during the pandemic and comes amidst price spikes in the global energy market.
The landmark scheme will see direct energy exchange between West Suffolk Council’s (WSC) renewable generators and the hotels, which are based in the West Midlands and close to the south coast of England.
Manchester-based UrbanChain – whose revenue is forecast to reach £1.4 million this year, from £30,000 in 2017 – is the only company to have approval for a peer-to-peer (P2P) energy exchange system from Ofgem, the UK energy regulator.
Following interest from potential customers in Europe, North America and India, UrbanChain is also in the process of raising £5m to £6m to expand abroad.
As well as onboarding the hotels into the P2P market – using its AI system and blockchain technology products v-powerChain and eChain – UrbanChain will provide all legal, commercial and technical requirements for the direct contract between WSC’s renewable generators and customer energy demand from the hotels.
The 12-month scheme – which saw one hotel onboarded in September followed by the other next month – aims to reduce the 4-star hotels’ energy bills by at least 25%, help them achieve carbon neutrality, while also maximising revenue from WSC’s renewable generators.
UrbanChain CEO Dr. Somayeh Taheri said the scheme follows an innovative local renewables energy exchange project carried out with WSC at Mildenhall Industrial Estate.
“During our partner work with WSC at Mildenhall we discovered that WSC had some excess energy volumes that they wanted to sell,” said Dr. Taheri, “so we matched them and the hotels together to create what is now a new online local energy market where they can exchange energy directly as prosumers and consumers.”
Dr. Taheri also said she was pleased to be helping two hotels recover from the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on the hospitality industry.
She said: “We are very excited and pleased that these two hotels want to be part of the P2P market.
“COVID-19 has had a dramatic financial impact on the hospitality industry and UrbanChain has the perfect solution to help hotels to recover as we continue on our scale-up journey. Not only are we reducing their energy bills, we are contributing to their net zero mission.”
Multi-award-winning UrbanChain was established in 2017 following PhD level research at the University of Manchester, which found a broken cycle in the energy market.
The company, based in Manchester Science Park’s Greenheys Building, employs nine people, has three non-executive directors and is known as a disruptor in the UK energy market.