Tech partnership formed to create new energy app

A partnership has been formed to create a new renewable energy app that aims to be the first of its kind in the UK.

The partnership, between renewable energy start-up Swarm and tech consultancy Opencast, aims to help make homeowners’ lives easier and greener.

The Swarm app, developed by its team of hardware and energy experts, will allow people to optimise how and when energy is used around the home. It will integrate with a home’s smart devices – like electric vehicle charge points and solar panels – regardless of their brand. The app will support people’s transition to electric homes, and offer stability for consumers in times of volatile energy prices.

Swarm Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer Anthony Piggott said: “There’s a lot of clever technology out there that helps people manage the energy in their homes but, incredibly, there’s nothing in the UK that works with different brands and devices, meaning people can’t currently control all the energy devices across their home in one place.”

“We knew we could create something to change this and chose Opencast as our lead partner. With their tech expertise and our knowledge of the energy sector, we have the ability to make something really exciting: one app to control every aspect of energy in the home.”

The partnership between the two businesses will see Opencast adding its technology expertise to that of the Swarm team. Both firms are based at Hoults Yard in Newcastle, where demonstration and testing of the new app will take place in a purpose-built energy hub.

Opencast will work with Swarm to develop its technology and help grow the new business. With a team approaching 500 people, Opencast works to make life better through the power of people and technology – and its vision is to make a positive impact on society through sustainable, fairer solutions for all.

The fast-growing consultancy already supports clients in government and business alike, offering services including digital customer experience, and product and service innovation. Its new partnership follows previous joint work with the Swarm team.

Swarm Co-Founder and CEO Dan Martin said: “We founded Swarm to change the balance of power in the energy industry – taking it away from the big energy companies and putting it in the hands of homeowners.

“We want to make it easier for people to switch to sustainable energy and for them to save money on their bills, by generating their own solar power, controlling where and when it’s used in their home, and selling any excess back to the grid.”

Welcoming the partnership, Opencast Chief Executive Tom Lawson said: “We’re pleased to be working with the Swarm as it starts on its journey to improve consumer access to renewable energy. As a business, Opencast is committed to delivering social impact – and leveraging our core capabilities and resources to support the delivery of future energy models and the green transition.

“We’re proud to be working with another North East headquartered business that is committed to sustainability. Our firms share the same work culture and have similar ways of working and we want the two businesses to support each other’s growth.”

The first iteration of the app is planned for launch in autumn 2023. Find out more at swarm.eco/swarm-app