Dynamic Demand Challenge Prize winner announcement!

Written on 27 June 2014 by:
Constance Agyeman
Constance Agyeman

Hestia, a smart heating controller designed by the Demand Shaper team from Exergy Devices, won the Dynamic Demand Challenge Prize!  The winning team found out they had been selected to receive the £50,000 award at a celebration event held at the Science Museum last night, Thursday 26 June 2014.

The Dynamic Demand Challenge set out to identify and develop ideas to shift the UK’s domestic and small business energy demand away from peak times, make better use of renewable generation and help reduce carbon emissions.

The Challenge was run by Nesta’s Centre for Challenge Prizes in partnership with the National Physical Laboratory’s Centre for Carbon Measurement and Imperial College London.  The programme was funded by the Department for Business innovation and Climate-KIC.  National Grid also sponsored the programme.

Hestia was one of five finalists shortlisted from over 75 pan-European entries following a 36 hour Hackathon hosted by Imperial College London in October 2013.

The other finalists included:

Kudos Energy

  • Kudos Energy enables the group of households around each substation to earn rewards for their local community by manually flattening and balancing demand.


  • A self-install electricity storage system for households with solar panels and off-peak tariffs, enabling customers to use green, inexpensive power when they actually need it, saving 10-15% of electricity bills, cutting electricity peaks and carbon emissions


  • A system using domestic heat pumps and thermal accumulators to provide heat when required, but independent from electricity consumption. This allows users to manage the grid side as an energy service company.


  • A cloud-based service that combines energy storage capacity in different devices into a “virtual energy store” that can be used by the grid to balance supply and demand.

Since their selection in October the finalists have been working diligently to prototype their ideas to a point at which they could be impact tested. Finalists received funding and expert guidance and support to further develop their solutions. They worked with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the UK’s Measurement Institute, to test their solutions to determine their effectiveness in shifting demand and model the entries’ potential of reducing emissions.  They also received business development support from Imperial College London.

It was a tough deliberation process for the panel of judges who hailed from the partner organisations and National Grid, Ofgem, Which? and DECC.  All the finalists’ solutions demonstrated impact on shifting demand and reducing carbon emissions and have great potential for making a significant impact in the energy market.

The finalists were given the opportunity to showcase their products at the celebration event and garnered a range of interest and network opportunities from industry professionals.

We were also pleased to have Joe Short of Demand Logic, who has been campaigning and developing products in the area of demand side response for over 10 years and Dora Gozeleva of regulatory body Ofgem, provide keynote speeches about the importance of and opportunities for innovation in this field.

UPSide also received a lovely surprise from Climate KIC, who have offered them a place on the highly competitive Climate-KIC Accelerator programme which comes with a grant of 25,000 Euros and a range of professional business and technical development support.

The night ultimately belonged to Dr Peter Boait and his team who were able to demonstrate with Hestia the most significant impact and market potential to win the challenge.

Dr Peter Boait from Exergy Devices said:

“I entered the competition because the challenge of effective dynamic demand is something that has interested me for over 10 years and I felt the solution we had developed at De Montfort University was very well matched to the requirements of the competition.  The competition process was challenging but effective in driving us to commercialise this research. The funds will go towards execution of the business plan Nesta have helped us to create.  Our smart heating control product, Hestia, enables people with electric heating to save money by operating their heating more efficiently and at the same time makes electric heating more grid-friendly”.

You can download more information here about the challenge, Finalists and winner here in the Dynamic Demand publication

We will continue to follow the fortunes of our entrepreneurial finalists and offer connections where we can.  I urge investors to find out more and get in touch with them.  (Contact details can be found in the publication)  You’d definitely be onto a winning investment!


This article was originally published by Nesta.