The Scotsman

Edinburgh energy firm set to power up via move into supply

● Launch at start of next month comes amid rapidly evolving electricit­y sector

- By EMMA NEWLANDS emma.newlands@jpress.co.uk

An Edinburgh-based energy company that describes itself as a pioneer in demand response in Britain is looking to grow headcount and turnover when it launches an energy supply arm next month.

Flexitrici­ty was started by Alastair Martin, and recently celebrated its tenth anniversar­y of “smart grid” operations.

The firm – whose clients include the NHS, University of Edinburgh and Aberdeen Heat & Power – also passed the 10,000 demand-side response events mark this year, Martin told The Scotsman.

Flexitrici­ty has generated £12 million in direct revenue for UK businesses since going live in 2008, by helping them respond to shortfalls and excesses in the nation’s energy supply.

And it has enabled large energy consumers to save £11m in network charges, by helping them reduce load and increasing on-site generation when UK energy demand is highest.

It now employs about 35 people (including part time) and one contractor.

Anditislau­nching“flexitrici­ty+”, providing pass-through access to the major wholesale markets for both electricit­y and gas, so that industrial and commercial energy users can fix their energy costs and reve- nues at timescales that suit their businesses. The firm says it will become the first supplier in Britain to provide full, active participat­ion in the National Grid’s balancing mechanism for its customers.

Martin said Flexitrici­ty+ came about because the electricit­y market “is changing and it’s changing largely because of the success in renewable generation”.

He said such power sources “make things move faster” and bring in much greater uncertaint­ies than their other types of resource, with the firm seeing the opportunit­y to deploy flexibilit­y in very short timescales that can be as little as seconds.

“Industrial and commercial energy consumers need to be fleet of foot, because the best price for them is going to be driven to a reasonable extent by the availabili­ty of wind and solar energy, so it affects their cost of doing business.”

Regarding the launch of Flexitrici­ty+, Martin stated: “We’re expecting everything to be in place for 1 October. Various steps are “progressin­g well – we’re on target.”

Flexitrici­ty said in July that it had hired Rachel Maitland, formerly of SSE and Scottishpo­wer, to manage Flexitrici­ty+, with a “wide” range of customers currently being brought on board.

Looking ahead Martin said Flexitrici­ty+ is the firm’s “biggest ticket item”, and comes after it saw its turnover reach £4.3m in the year to March 2017, its best year of trading to date. “Flexitrici­ty+ is a growth instrument for us and on the back of that revenues will grow… we know where we’re going.” Digital agency Tayburn has been appointed by Scottish Rugby to design and develop its new website. Over the coming months, the firm will be working closely with the organisati­on to redevelop its web presence – delivering an online matchday experience, developing a suite of sites that “house and showcase engaging content” and creating a platform that provides sponsors “greater opportunit­ies for involvemen­t”. The Edinburgh-based branding and design firm said it was looking to help Scottish Rugby grow support and engagement, both nationally and globally – particular­ly with the World Cup in Japan in 2019. “We’re thrilled to be working with Scottish Rugby,” the firm added.

“Flexitrici­ty+ is a growth instrument forusandon­theback of that revenues will grow… we know where we’re going”

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