Manchester-based smart energy technology start-up Qbots has been selected as part of an innovation competition on infrastructure systems by the UK government.

It will receive £180k in funding to develop and test its smart energy management software with battery storage to deliver a positive impact for Manchester and the rest of the UK.

This is part of the £370k Q-PLUS (intelligent building energy management system utilising energy storage) industrial research and development project in Manchester, co-funded by UK’s innovation agency Innovate UK.

Qbots will be leading this project working in collaboration with the University of Manchester.

£2.4 billion of system cost savings per year could be achieved by 2030 with the addition of energy storage, according to Carbon trust.

If just 50 percent of this savings was passed onto customers it could reduce the average household electricity bill by up to £50 a year.

“The funding will enable us to make use of University of Manchester’s world-class battery storage research facilities and will help create new jobs in the region within automation and data analytics,” said Qbots co-founder & marketing director Vijay Natarajan.

Reduction in subsidies and feed-in-tariffs has made investing in renewable technologies financially less attractive to commercial building owners.

However there is a need for renewable generation sources to play a significant role in enabling the UK to meet the emission reduction target of at least 80 per cent of the 1990 level.

Although other technologies being adopted like electric vehicles and heat pumps will help lower emissions, without efficient energy management both of these will further increase the peak load on the power system.

Up to 16 per cent of the UK’s peak electricity requirement or 9.8GW can be provided by non-domestic customers either shifting demand away from busy periods or using on-site generation with flexible energy storage.

Qbots provides innovative solutions to utilise this flexibility in demand while integrating energy storage systems in the electricity network to ensure the security of supply while providing the owners of these assets with long-term savings and new revenue streams.

The Q-PLUS project will develop and demonstrate a commercial solution, based on new research, which will help alleviate some of the challenges the UK faces specifically in clean energy generation and improving health & well-being through affordable energy and clean air.

Manchester Climate Change Agency estimated that in 2016 46 per cent (1169 kilotons of CO2) of Manchester’s carbon emissions were from commercial buildings.

Currently, there is a 15 per cent shortfall to reach the targeted savings by 2020. Through this project, Qbots will build the tools necessary to support Manchester in achieving these targets.

Qbots is currently working with a range of commercial and manufacturing building owners including Bruntwood, key Universities and hotels within Greater Manchester to bring them the benefits of energy storage and smart energy management technologies.