Energy efficiency research and development project worth £900,000 launches in Scotland

A research and development project worth £900,000 has been launched in Scotland to develop breakthrough technology in the energy efficiency market.

NetThings, an Edinburgh based “internet of things” company has partnered with CSEM a Swiss private, non-profit research company to develop an analytical platform to save energy and increase equipment reliability in commercial buildings.

The two-year project aims to save significant sums of money for governments, councils, schools and commercial properties. It achieves this through connected hardware and software that will both monitor and control energy usage, and flag when specific plant and machinery requires servicing thus optimising efficiency of operation and reducing down time.

Due to NetThings’ experience with current energy management systems, the breakthrough technology can be commercialised at a price that means significant savings and fast returns on investment for companies globally.

In the UK alone there are a record 5.4 million private sector businesses, up 3% from 2014. Many of these properties have limited options for energy management with traditional Building Management Systems (BEMs) often only installed at construction stage due to cabling and instrumentation which is complex, time-consuming and disruptive to business. One of the intended deliverables from the project is a system that will offer a low cost solution, easily retrofitted, to the millions of buildings that are currently being neglected.

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George McGhee, NetThings CEO (pictured), said: “Technology is advancing globally to support sustainable and smarter cities, and our project will address some of the barriers that prevent viable solutions being retrofitted into established commercial properties.

“The EU has ambitious targets to meet by 2020, with energy efficiency initiatives expected to deliver 20% energy savings which is approximately the equivalent to turning off 400 power stations. Eliminating wasteful use of energy in commercial buildings that have lacked suitable systems is essential to driving sustainability on this sort of scale.

“Leveraging our technology expertise and CSEM’s 32 years of applied research experience, this project will result in more cost effect ways of addressing this challenge.”

NetThings and CSEM have been awarded 50% funding towards the project from Eurostars, a joint programme between EUREKA and the European Commission. Eurostars awards funding to the development of rapidly marketable innovative products, processes and services that help improve the daily lives of people around the world.