When establishing the Community Action Platform for Energy users (CAPE) Milton Keynes Council sought to create a low cost method of energy supply and demand. The platform links individuals communities and businesses allowing them to buy and sell low carbon energy and services.
Milton Keynes Council partnered with a number of organisations to build the platform e.g.
SMARTKLUB - the project co-ordinators
Tech Mahindra - Who built the platform
Open University - who did the computing and marketing aspects of the project
Satellite Applications Catapult - who supplied the images for the project
Community Action Milton Keynes - A group that supports the voluntary sector in Milton Keynes and encourages people to use the platform ( Go to communityactionmk.org for more information).
Speaking at the Interreg Europes Intensify Project fourth thematic event hosted by Vitoria-Gasteiz, capital of Spain's Basque country, Christine Ballard from Milton Keynes Council stated that "CAPE provides energy users with the information data tools and the information building tools to help them understand better how energy in Milton Keynes is consumed, the main factors that determine and drive consumption and, the opportunities and potential that is there for future renewable energy and energy onsumption reduction projects".
Christine also stated that there are three significant driving forces for Milton Keynes Council to participate in the project - Social, Economic and Environmental. The social drivers are the need to encourage communities to take control of their energy consumption, reducing the incidence of fuel poverty, creating employment and connecting communities in Milton Keynes together. The economic drivers include building resilience security in terms of energy supply, generating income locally through the sale of electricity and communities and businesses would reinvest their money in Milton Keynes. The environmental drivers include reducing Milton Keynes carbon footprint, improved compliance with environmental regulations and improved local services.
CAPE offers Milton Keynes Council the opportunity to Map existing energy data, to learning about gaps in the available data, and organise the data in ways which will enable the Council to identify ways in which CO2 intensive energy consumption can be reduced. From this information projects can be both created and aggregated to improve the local energy supply chain. The platform will also enable communities to become more connected by facilitating all channel communication, building joint action plans that will achieve reduced CO2 output in Milton Keynes.
Using CAPE Milton Keynes can build energy profiles on a building basis, a street basis, a district basis and on a city wide basis. CAPE can also highlight areas of the city with a high or low building energy heat loss, prioritising them for future deep energy efficiency retrofitting.
In conclusion Christine stated that although CAPE was still in the early stages of development it had great potential as a digital social platform that would persuade individuals communities and businesses to act and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.