UK company Open Energi, which has offices in London and Manchester, has developed an energy demand response management product, which enables heavy electricity users, including many in the metals sector, to match use to availability.

In addition to delivering new revenues to users, demand response management promises to lower the UK’s risk of blackouts, at the same time as reducing the overall cost of energy. It achieves this by avoiding the need to build new power capacity, making it easier to manage intermittent renewable energy supplies, and enabling significant emissions reductions.

“Open Energi’s technology automatically responds to fluctuations in demand within two seconds - every hour of every day of the year - and is able to switch equipment across its customers' assets on or off as required,” says Open Energi’s Business Development Director, Steve Mills. "By making minor adjustments to those assets we help address the imbalance that occurs as electricity supply and demand fluctuate."

Aluminium Federation Chief Executive Will Savage said: “High UK energy costs are a significant issue for many ALFED members, as they threaten UK competiveness in the sector. Open Energi’s offer is therefore likely to be of interest to many companies in our industry, and I look forward to a long and productive relationship.”

Caparo Bridge Aluminium recently installed Open Energi’s technology at its foundry operation in Wednesbury, which it predicts will result in revenues of up to £25,000 a year. The plant has forty-six holding pots, which store molten aluminium at around 750C before it is poured into dies to produce castings.