Squeaky, a London-based energy start-up, is enabling small businesses to buy 100 per cent of their energy directly from local wind and solar farms, at the same price as fossil-fuel suppliers. The venture has the potential to benefit local producers, free businesses from fossil-fuels, and shake-up the energy market.
With 27 years-experience, Squeaky’s founder Chris Bowden, is well-placed to comment on the state of the UK’s energy industry. In a recent interview with Fast Company, he points to the problems in the energy market that led him to develop the platform. ‘The UK supply market is dominated by six very large integrated suppliers,’ he says. ‘Typically they haven’t offered a renewable tariff because they are primarily fossil fuel generators, so it’s pretty difficult for them to allocate specific renewable generation from their portfolio to specific customer supply.’
The falling cost of renewables has made it a viable option for generators to compete, attracting large multi-nationals like Google, which committed to 100 per cent renewable energy in 2010. But such wholesale deals can be expensive and out of reach to small businesses.
Squeaky connects businesses directly to producers by allowing them to choose from renewable generators in the UK, essentially cutting out the middleman, as well as providing the necessary safeguards of supply. This directs more revenue back to wind farmers and other energy producers and allows smaller organisations a greater say in how their energy is generated.
The start-up currently works with five wind farms and one solar farm. If one farm isn’t generating enough energy at the time that it’s needed, the platform automatically sources it from another generator. It currently has enough capacity for 10,000 business and hopes to sign up 5,000 customers in its first year.
Words: Sid Hayns-Worthington
Learn more about Squeaky’s efforts here.