United Utilities is using cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) to improve energy management across its sites and reduce electricity costs by 10 per cent a year.
The water supplier has partnered with Open Energi to use a digital platform that continuously monitors and manages electricity demand and generation.
The Dynamic Demand 2.0 technology uses AI to learn what an optimal strategy looks like and invisibly adjusts it second-by-second.
United Utilities already generates 21 per cent of its electricity consumption itself through renewable sources, such as its 12,000 panel floating solar farm in Manchester.
The tech platform will help to shift United Utilities’ energy demand to times when it is generating high levels of its own electricity, as well as responding to fluctuations in the grid to balance supply and demand nationally.
Andy Pennick, energy manager at United Utilities, said: “We are committed to providing safe, cost efficient and sustainable water and wastewater services to our customers. Behind-the-scenes energy is a pivotal part of our service. By bringing all our energy disciplines together, we can focus on future proofing our energy strategy and providing low carbon, secure energy at least cost.
“Investing in innovative technology like this helps us tackle future challenges around climate change with no impact to the service we provide. It will also enable us to continue our drive to reduce costs which has seen customer bills decline in real terms since 2010.”
United Utilities also recently set out a plan to switch its entire fleet of vehicles from diesel to ‘home-produced energy’ in ten years.