Author: Jack Taylor

eFIXX Energy and Allume

At the recent Future Build Expo in London, eFIXX Energy interviewed Allume’s General Manager of Europe, Jack Taylor to learn everything there is to know about the SolShare. The 5-minute, quick-fire interview, began with eFIXX Energy’s Joe Robinson asking Jack the simple question “What happens when you’ve got a block of flats and you want to share out that solar PV power between those flats?”.

 

How Is The SolShare Different?

Jack and Joe talk through the SolShare’s ability to solve this global problem. They even go into detail about how the SolShare monitors the energy demand of every flat connected to it and sends the solar energy to the flats that need it at any point in time. This optimisation significantly increases the onsite solar consumption within the apartment building. This directly equates to increased savings for the residents living in the flats.

Solar for Apartments

What Are They Saying About The SolShare

As the world’s only solution to behind-the-meter sharing of solar PV, the eFIXX gang were excited to learn more about the SolShare and share the solution with their 250,000+ subscribers.

Joe Robinson said that “I think this is a really, really good product”

And eFIXX is “going to watch SolShare’s UK journey very carefully and with great interest”

Watch the 5-minute interview here:

microgrid, the solshare

Recent changes to the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) legislation require landlords to ensure their rental properties are up to scratch on the energy efficiency front. All properties across England, Scotland and Wales that are being built or promoted for let or sale as an entire property must have an EPC. As of 2025, all rentals will need a rating of C or higher. From 2028 this will apply to all properties. The EPC provides details on typical energy use and costs for the property, with tips on how to make it greener and more cost-efficient. Alongside the changes to legislation is the reality of energy price hikes. It makes sense that now more than ever, everyone – from homeowners to social housing providers and property developers – want the best EPC rating possible and are intrigued about solar for flats.

While there are several options on the market, solar power is definitely the biggest impact option increasing the EPC rating of flats and houses.

First, let’s look at how property energy efficiency is calculated. We’ll then check out why solar is one of the best return on investments for EPC increase.

 

How Is Energy Efficiency Calculated?

The energy performance of a property is measured by using the Standard Assessment Procedure, or SAP, method. The government uses the SAP to assess how much energy a home will consume under average assumptions for resident habits and behaviour.

An EPC includes two charts and rating bands. You can see the current rating band and the potential rating if you complete the recommendations for the property. The numbers for each rating are based on the SAP, from 1-100 points. The higher the points, the better the efficiency. As you can see, the highest rating of an A is 92-100 points and the lowest grade of G is 1-20.

Improve EPC Rating, Solar for Flats

Image Source: edfeenergy.com

 

Solar = Flexibility

Gone are the days of rooftop solar only benefiting and being available to standalone homes and offices. For years, flats have been locked out of the picture when it comes to accessing solar solutions for energy efficiency.  A lower carbon footprint and cheaper electricity bills are now open to tenants and flat owners, thanks to The SolShare.

 

What is The SolShare?

The SolShare is a system that creates a private infrastructure for solar energy sharing in multi-dwelling buildings. Power is directed from a single system on the shared roof space to whichever flats are connected independently behind their meter. The SolShare is the most straightforward and cost-effective solution to rooftop solar for flats. This is because the tenants or flat owners don’t need to sign up to additional billing services or solar trading platforms.

The only hardware of its kind, the SolShare is rapidly growing in popularity across the globe. There are now thousands of residents embracing lower power bills and reduced carbon emissions thanks to the SolShare.

the Solshare

The SolShare = Full Grade Increase

A typical SolShare system can gain as many as 5-15 SAP points, which directly impacts the property EPC rating. As we saw in the tables above, each band is approximately ten points. By installing a standard SolShare system on flats, it’s almost certain that the EPC rating will increase by at least one grade.

When designing the system, we can identify which flats in the building that need a higher boost to their EPC rating. We can then allocate a higher proportion of solar to those flats, so you’re able to achieve the desired EPC rating for every flat in the building.

 

Solar for Flats = More Power for Your Pound

The entire SolShare solar solution typically costs between £2,000 – £4,000 per flat, which is relatively low compared to other EPC initiatives. All while lowering the electricity bills for the residents within the flats.

In fact, the EPC to cost benefit is so attractive, the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund team of BEIS have stated that even though the SHDF Wave 2 is a fabric first approach, they would accept SolShare solar systems as part of the bids, as long as it is contained within the 50% contributed portion of the bid.

 

The Bottom Line

Now that the power of solar has been unlocked with rooftop solar for flats via the SolShare, a whole new world of energy efficiency is available. The SolShare is cost-effective, boosts EPC rankings quickly and provides benefits from day one.

At Allume, we believe everyone should have the power to reduce their electricity bill and carbon footprint. The SolShare is the only hardware for sharing rooftop solar for flats and we’d love to help you get on board. Contact us today to discuss your options.

EIC Awards

 

Allume is proud to have been awarded ‘Best Innovation – Electricity’ for the SolShare at this year’s Energy Innovation Centre (EIC) awards. The judges highlighted the SolShare’s environmental benefits of enabling flats to connect to rooftop solar panels, as well as the social benefits of unlocking solar for social housing residents that live in apartment buildings.

 

What Did Allume’s General Manager Have To Say?

Allume’s General Manager of Europe was in Liverpool to collect the award. When receiving the award, Jack was asked what the next 12 months looked like for Allume:

“Connecting flats to solar is a global problem that Allume has proudly solved. Our plan is, of course, to get as many apartment residents enjoying the benefits of solar as soon as possible. But we have a primary focus on social housing buildings. Often social housing residents lose out on new technology that can save them money – what’s key with the SolShare, is that it’s affordable for housing providers, enabling them to install systems on their buildings, achieve their sustainability goals and importantly, help those in society that often need it most.”

Jack Taylor - Allume Energy

What Does the Award Mean for Allume?

The EIC is owned and run by the UK’s largest electricity distribution network operators (DNOs) and the ‘Best Innovation – Electricity’ award is regarded as one of the most prestigious technical awards that Allume can win in the UK – further cementing our credibility as the go-to solution for apartment solar.

The DNOs who own the EIC include UK Power Networks, SP Energy Networks, Northern Powergrid, Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks, and National Grid.

Allume Energy’s solar sharing technology, the SolShare, won the Demand Side Innovation Award at this year’s Start Up Energy Transition (SET) Festival.

SET is the brainchild of the German Energy Agency (dena), the World Energy Council, and the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, with the aim of accelerating innovation in the global energy transition.

A panel of expert judges selected the SolShare from 543 applications from 89 countries, cementing it as one of the most respected awards in the industry. This is supported further by the calibre of supporting partners of the award, that include BayWa r.e., Berlin Partner, Future Energy Ventures, GTAI, InnoEnergy, Powercloud, Shell and the Swedish Energy Agency.

Allume’s CEO and Co-Founder, Cameron Knox and General manager of Europe, Jack Taylor were thrilled to attend the award ceremony in Berlin Germany earlier this month, accepting the award on behalf of Allume as it was live-streamed across the world. You can watch the moment it all happened in the video below.

Jack said “Winning the SET Award for Demand Side Innovation is true testament to Allume solving a global problem – how to install solar on apartments. This will help to accelerate our business growth across the world and solidify the SolShare as the go-to technology for apartment solar.”

Cameron said “Winning this award wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and exceptional team work that everyone at Allume continually shows. Congratulations to the entire team”

This recognition has opened new opportunities for Allume in Europe and further proven that the SolShare is the market leading hardware for connecting apartments to rooftop solar.

You can read the full press release on the dena website.

Allume has been selected as one of three finalists for the Demand-Side Innovation award at the Startup Energy Transition 100 awards!

We couldn’t be more pleased with the result, especially given the high number of high-calibre entrants to this year’s award. Our selection as a finalist was announced by Dr. Angela Wilkinson, Secretary General and CEO, World Energy Council, who was especially complimentary by revealing that there had been over 500 applications from 89 countries.

You can watch Angela make the announcements here:

The Startup Energy Transition (SET) is the brainchild of the German Energy Agency and World Energy Council. Each year they facilitate the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue, which brings together the biggest names in the renewable energy industry. This year, German Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen opened the event with special guest speakers including US Administration’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.

The winners will be announced at the (hopefully!) in-person SET Tech Festival in German later in the year.

More about the European Market

With over 40% of Europeans living in apartment buildings, having a solar solution that works for them is vital in the transition to a sustainable future. With the SolShare being able to supply solar to apartments in low to medium rise apartment buildings, that equates to over 200 million Europeans who are now able to access solar energy via a SolShare system. Allume’s expansion into Europe has already caught the eye of not only industry bodies like SET but also noteworthy solar industry players in multiple countries from the UK in the West to Romania in the East.

If you are interested in partnering with Allume to provide the SolShare solution in your area, get in touch to learn more.

The results are in and Allume has won this year’s Clean Energy Council’s Innovation Award with the SolShare – we couldn’t be more thrilled! Our world-first solution to behind-the-meter solar sharing has been selected by the judges as Australia’s most innovative technology in renewable energy.

Allume’s SolShare beat ‘hundreds’ of other entrants to reach the final alongside 5B’s rapid deploy solar system and Western Power’s stand-alone power systems. Following a rigorous judging process, the Clean Energy Council selected Allume as winners.

Allume’s CEO, Cameron Knox said:

“We are thrilled to be recognised with such a prestigious award. We are so proud of what we have been able to achieve, and very excited about the future of the SolShare and Allume. It is fantastic to have the Clean Energy Council’s support in our vision to unlock rooftop solar for those missing out.”

Allume challenged itself to develop a product that solves the huge market gap of supplying solar energy to multi-unit buildings. Developing a technology that actively controls the division of power to multiple, separately metered units at once took 4 years of research and development, and has resulted in the SolShare creating a brand new technological category of ‘Power Division Control System’.

Allume’s CTO Kristy Battista said:

“What an honour! Winning this award is the result of all the hard work and commitment that’s been put in by the Allume team and I couldn’t be prouder. Amazing things can happen when you combine a genuine market need with innovative thinking”

The interest in the SolShare since coming to market in 2019 has been immense, with Allume rapidly expanding across Australia and into the US, with further expansion in the EU set for 2021. With installs covering a wide range of buildings, including community housing, new builds, not for profits, and retail units.

Allume’s Head of BD, Jack Taylor said:

“The traction that we have gained since bringing the SolShare to market last year has confirmed to us that we have solved a significant problem that faced the renewable energy industry – how do you install solar panels on apartment buildings? Winning the Clean Energy Council’s Innovation Award has reinforced our belief that we are solving a problem that really matters with a unique solution.”

The judges were impressed by the innovation shown with the SolShare and its ability to unlock solar for buildings that have previously been locked out. Apartment residents are finally able to enjoy the countless benefits that stand-alone home dwellers have enjoyed for years, which are even more significant during the current climate.

Alex Marks, COO, said:

“Our technology is bringing the benefits of rooftop solar to those that couldn’t previously access it. Social housing residents, renters in apartments, and family-owned businesses are now benefiting from lower electricity bills and contributing to climate change action.”

For more information on the SolShare, you can get in touch via our contact page.

 

An aerial view of a SolShare solar panel installation

 

ARENA has provided $220,000 in funding towards Allume Energy’s world-first solution that will enable The Salvation Army to on-sell any solar energy to other tenants within the building, all at no up-front capital cost to The Salvation Army.

By utilising the SolShare’s ability to share solar power to multiple units within a building, The Salvation Army will purchase solar energy under a ‘classic’ PPA, and on-sell any unused solar to the other tenants in the building for a profit under a secondary, on-selling PPA.

The Salvation Army will become the solar energy retailer within the building. Other tenants will have the opportunity to buy cheap, renewable solar energy from the salvation army and know that when they do, their money will be contributing towards their great cause.

Overview

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are the perfect candidate for solar energy: socially responsible organisations who can use the money saved on their energy bills to help their good causes. Often though, there are challenges for NGOs to gain access to rooftop solar: the capital costs are high and their premises are often in multi-unit buildings.

By using the SolShare, we easily solve the issue of supplying solar to multiple, separately metered units within a building – it’s our bread and butter!

But how do we overcome the capital cost that comes with installing a large solar system?

The answer is via a power purchase agreement, often referred to as a PPA. A solar PPA is where an external funding body will fund the capital outlay and maintain a rooftop solar system and sell the generated energy to the tenants within the building. The solar energy is sold at a lower rate to the energy that is supplied by the grid, therefore, generating a ‘win-win’ scenario where the PPA provider generates a return on investment by selling the solar and the tenants get cheap, renewable energy at no upfront capital cost by buying the solar. Simply put, at no upfront cost, a tenant can enjoy cheaper, renewable energy that’s been generated on the roof of the building.

 

A diagram representing a classic PPA arrangement

This is a great solution but how can we make it more beneficial to the NGO and more appealing to the other tenants within the building?

We create a model where the NGO becomes the solar energy retailer.

By using the SolShare, we can direct the solar energy to the NGO, creating the highest savings for them. But instead of wasting any excess solar energy that they don’t use by sending it to the grid the SolShare will direct it to the other tenants in the building, who will buy it from the NGO.

It’s a fantastic solution that will not only make better use of the solar energy by maximising onsite consumption but will also generate revenue for the NGO, helping contribute to their good causes.

 

A diagram representing a SolShare on-selling PPA arrangement

 

ARENA Funding

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is contributing $220,000 of funding towards this $1.04 million project. The funding will go towards the technical and legal development of the SolShare to enable the solar PPA on-selling functionality. More information can be found on the ARENA project page.

Consortium

Allume Energy – Project Lead

Allume will supply the SolShare and developing the solar sharing algorithm to enable excess solar energy not used by the NGO to be directed to the other units within the building. We will also manage the on-selling billing functionality via the SolShare.

Green Peak Energy

Green Peak Energy is the project financer. They will fund the solar PV capital equipment and sell the generated solar energy from these systems to the NGOs under a standard PPA.

The Salvation Army

As a world-renowned organisation, The Salvation Army’s commitment to creating a better world cannot be understated. They have kindly agreed to install the first pilot system on one of their buildings in Glenorchy, Tasmania. The outcome from the pilot site will see The Salvation Army save money on their energy bills by buying solar energy when they need it and make money by selling solar energy to the other tenants when they don’t.

I Want Energy

I Want Energy is one of the most established and respected solar installers in Tasmania. In their 10+ years of operation, they have installed over 3,000 solar systems, are Fronius Service Level Plus Partners, certified Tesla Powerwall Installers, and were one of the world’s first SolShare Installation Partners.

Sub-Buying Tenants

The unseen but key members of the project! The sub-buying tenants will be reducing their carbon footprint and saving money on their energy bills by buying solar energy from the NGOs when there is excess solar supply.

Technology

This ground-breaking solution is only achievable with the use of the SolShare’s unique solar distribution technology. As the world’s first behind-the-meter solar power division control system, the SolShare is able to distribute the solar energy generated from a single solar system to multiple, separately metered units within the same building.

Development

Allume will develop the SolShare’s algorithms to enable the on-selling of excess solar energy to other units within the building.

As this is the first time that an on-selling PPA will be created via the SolShare, legal frameworks will be created to enable the other tenants within the building to buy the solar energy off the NGO.

Functionality testing will take place at the pilot site in Glenorchy, proving the concept for a wider rollout.

Project Goals

Following successful installation, The Salvation Army will be running the world’s first on-selling PPA, enabling them to be the solar energy retailer in their building at no capital cost to them. This will result in a fantastic list of benefits for all parties involved:

For more information or media enquiries, please contact us.

The New Daily has written an interesting article on the inclusion of Allume’s SolShare technology and it’s inclusion in Mirvac’s Tullamore develoment. We’re proud to be delivering shared solar in partnership with Mirvac and Prana Energy.

Folia Apartments by Mirvac is nestled within Tullamore, Doncaster’s most prestigious community, surrounded by established parkland and abundant amenity. Committed to creating sustainable living environments for residents to enjoy, Mirvac have implemented Allume Energy’s forefront technology in Folia allowing the Prestige and Penthouse Apartment residents to share a single set of solar panels and distribute solar power in a manner that optimises the financial benefit to all connected residences.

This is the first of many developments by Mirvac that will include the SolShare, with further buildings at Tullamore and at other locations across the country. Mirvac has been an early supporter of Allume Energy, and we are grateful for their support and dedication to smart energy technologies and the benefits they can deliver to new urban developments