Topsham, near Exeter at the mouth of the River Exe. 


Exeter Community Energy is an established community energy group serving the Exeter area. It is volunteer led, with many local professionals giving their time. The group has been instrumental in the provision of 209 kW of solar PV on the roofs of Local Authority and local business properties and it is in the early stages of developing a hydro scheme in the city.

What is the challenge?

The group is interested in finding out if people are willing and able to alter their electricity use patterns to compensate for grid constraints, so that more medium/ large scale renewable generation can be accommodated in the local area.

What is the proposed solution and how is OpenLV enabling it?

Exeter Community Energy is developing a smartphone app that will be trialled in part of Topsham. The app enables people to see how their energy use has an effect on the local grid, the utilisation of locally-generated renewable electricity, the cost of energy and carbon emissions. Data from the local substation will be provided by the OpenLV project to be displayed in this app. App users can collect points for changing their consumption and will be able to compete with other users.

In a parallel project, the group will also be using data collection and appliance control equipment to gather detailed information on the energy patterns of a house, and on individual technology, such as washing machines and PV panels. Through combining results from these two projects, the group aims to find out if automation and behavioural changes can result in benefits to the local grid, local generation, the cost of electricity and carbon emissions.

Download the case study PDF