Piclo: a glimpse of the future, powered by renewables

Posted in: Energy

Posted on: 18.05.2016

In October last year, we started a trial with tech startup Open Utility to create Piclo: an online peer-to-peer marketplace for renewable energy that helps bring renewable tariffs to life.

Now, we’re excited to give you a bit of an update!

What is Piclo?

With Piclo, consumers and generators can buy and sell their electricity through an insightful online trading platform, backed with clever peer-matching algorithms. Users see what has been generated every half hour of the day and cherry-pick the renewable source they’d like their electricity to come from.


It has had a fantastic response from hotels, charities and sustainable businesses, which jumped at the chance to support their local wind and solar farms, community energy groups, and family and charity-owned sites. In total, 37 consumers and generators took part in the trial. 

The likes of the National Trust, City of Cardiff Council and Westmill Solar offered their renewable power to customers on Piclo. 

Meanwhile the Eden Project, Watergate Bay Hotel and Lancaster Co-Housing were just a few of the pioneering users.

What's so great about Piclo?

"Open Utility believe peer‐to‐peer local energy matching could be the start of an age of decentralised and clean electricity”, says James Johnston, CEO of Open Utility.

Understanding and having control over who is being paid at the electricity’s source – rather than just who is responsible for its supply – is a fantastic opportunity for people to put their energy bills to good use in their own area.


Juliet Davenport, Good Energy’s CEO and founder said: “Good Energy’s vision is of an energy system where control is in the hands of people, harnessing the awesome power of the UK’s natural resources, and electricity is generated by the communities who use it.

The Piclo trial has provided a glimpse of what a future powered purely by renewables could look like, with everything from rooftop solar to community wind turbines playing a role”.

Creating a valuable local energy market

We see the Piclo trial as a fantastic blueprint of how local energy markets could work in the future, and unlock billions of pounds for renewable generators.

During flooding last year, Whalley Community Hydro was able to create a premium price so that nearby users could support its recovery.

It also helped consumers embrace true local power. 20% of the trial participants came from one county – Cornwall – where the average distance between matched electricity sources and users was just 33 miles. In fact, 54% of all Cornish generation went to Cornish users!

We’re keeping an eye on the changing industry and are excited to move Piclo to its next phase, which is commercialisation.

The roll out of SMART meters and grid changes should help make the energy market more fair and efficient, and with the right changes from the distribution network operator, we’d love to see local energy markets become the norm.

Find out more about Piclo and be part of a greener future for the UK: switch your home or business to Good Energy today. 

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