Profile: Energy savers, Green Running

The Bath-based firm that can measure your energy usage on an instantaneous second-by-second basis
9th April 2015

For business and domestic users alike, energy is more of an issue now than ever before. Where does it come from? Where does it go? How are we managing to waste so much of it? Everyone’s office has an Energy Performance Certificate on the wall, but nobody wants to admit it was them who left all the office lights on last night.

Usage, efficiency and saving are on everyone’s minds, but nobody seemed to be thinking practically, on the micro level, looking at more than just blanket installations of energy-saving lightbulbs and turning the heaters off now and then. Enter Bath-based Green Running, located at the University of Bath Innovation Centre, coming into being with an idea that seems obvious once you hear it.

“We saw a gap in the market for efficient, real-time energy monitoring”

 

Chief Technology Officer, Peter Davis explains: “We saw a gap in the market for efficient, real-time energy monitoring.

“By real-time, I actually mean measuring energy usage on an instantaneous second by second basis, or faster. That way, people can immediately see a cause and effect when they turn on an appliance and really understand how to save money on their consumption.”

If you’re going to change how you use energy, you need to know how you use energy – told you it would seem obvious.

The Technology

Green Running’s current kit comes in three sizes. The multi-site eMonitor does what it says on the tin, monitoring overall energy usage and energy loss across up to nine power lines at a time. Second by second, it reports the figures through Green Running’s eReporter and eViewer software, explaining them in real terms and helping users identify where their power’s going.

The more sophisticated eController runs itself from a single solar panel, for even more efficiency, and the portable eAnalyser roams wild and free, the size of a lap pad and, like its chunkier brother, it is solar powered.

eAnalyser: Good things come in small packages

Energy use check-ups

The hardware and software isn’t the end, though. Green Running offer two services for the energy-minded firm which needs its data up front. If you go for a Power Performance MOT, they plug one of their devices into your building for two weeks and treat you to a walkthrough of its findings, key point by key point, all expressed in real terms with the technical data to back it up.

The Energy Reduction Plan goes a step further, offering start-to-finish support from a member of the Green Running team – they’ll find where the power’s going and how to keep it flowing the right way, auditing once per quarter with an on-site eAnalyser or eController.

Going domestic

So far, Green Running have focused on businesses which spend tens of thousands per year on electricity, but 2015 heralds in a sea change. With a £250K investment from efficiency-minded Scottish Power Energy Networks and renewable provider Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution, Green Running have prototyped a new range of hardware and software – the eGenius, developed for substation, commercial and domestic customers.

“We are proud of Bristol’s ‘Green City of 2015’ status, and as such, our priorities and goals for energy efficiency and sustainability are aligned”

 

Advanced artificial intelligence will monitor a single point on the main circuit and deliver the full device-by-device breakdown that existing Green Running services provide. When TechSPARK asked Peter where he saw this going, he was ambitious to say the least:

“I would like the eGenius (our domestic energy monitoring product) to be the go-to product for users who want to understand and manage their energy consumption, and for the eGenius to be distributed by leading energy companies to help the UK reach its carbon reduction commitments.”

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Analysis: Big savings, bigger ambitions

Total integration

Green Running have grand plans and great vision – an eGenius package in every office block, school, hospital, guest house, high street retailer or even home – but their feet are firmly on the ground.

Small developers will be invited to create useful apps and add-ons with an open API, and eGenius’ control and information features are built on an open platform. After all, Peter and company have never lost sight of their roots as a startup in the West of England. Peter studied at Bath University, and has always felt supported, encouraged, and pushed to succeed by his alma mater.

“As a graduate, the Bath Innovation Centre has been hugely supportive in supplying me with mentorship and investment opportunities”

 

“As a graduate, the Bath Innovation Centre has been hugely supportive in supplying me with mentorship and investment opportunities”

eGenius looks set to be just that push, and to hold out a hand to small developers poised to follow in Green Running’s wake. Keep an eye on their blog… and an eye on your light switch. You can follow them on Twitter here too: @GreenRunningUK

And talking of amazing innovation in the South West, if you are a startup looking to get some more exposure for your innovative business idea or meet other like-minded entrepreneurs, don’t miss Venturefest Bristol & Bath – a showcase of innovation, entrepreneurship and investment opportunities.