Guru Systems has been awarded a share of a £6 million grant funding programme designed to stimulate innovation that will help address cost and performance efficiency challenges on heat networks.

In this second round of funding, Guru Systems has won support from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to develop tools which analyse Big Data on decentralised energy networks.

Guru’s web-based technology analyses performance data and applies powerful machine learning algorithms to identify the root causes of inefficiency and propose costed measures to improve heat networks.

These innovative algorithms can recognise patterns and identify the likely source of any inefficiency using data from smart meters, building management systems, M-Bus networks (a system for the networking and remote reading of utility meters) or manual readings.

In the first stage of funding, which was announced at the beginning of the year, London-based Guru Systems conducted feasibility studies on four heat networks across the UK, analysing several million data points.

By using the technology and implementing cost-effective improvement measures, the four networks could reduce input fuel use by between 33 and 51 percent. This equates to an average saving of £179 per home per year. The company has estimated that the software could save UK heat networks £400m in reduced energy costs over the next 10 years.

By capturing and learning from complex Big Data, Guru’s machine learning tools uncover hidden energy use patterns, and identify untapped energy efficiency opportunities. They also enable companies to increase customer engagement by better understanding their needs.

Casey Cole, Managing Director of Guru Systems, said: “The success of the software in the initial feasibility stages of the competition clearly demonstrated the potential of Big Data analysis to identify improvements for both customers and operators alike. Losses on district heat networks can be a big issue for the increasing number of landlords and developers looking to build district heating systems into their schemes. Now, thanks to support from DECC, district heat networks have been brought into the 21st century, ensuring we can deliver energy-efficient, cost-effective networks that work for everyone.”

Guru Systems’ project is among nine schemes to be awarded a share of the Government body’s £6 million fund in the second round of the competition, which was set up to encourage innovative solutions to drive down energy bills and boost low carbon heat supplies in the UK.

The competition will help to stimulate innovation in heat network technologies and bring the UK a step closer to generating 14% of demand through that method by 2030, while reducing carbon emissions and cutting bills for consumers.

The company’s existing pay-as-you-go and real-time monitoring technology has already been installed in around 4,000 properties on more than 60 district heat networks across the UK. The Guru Hub and system allows operators to accurately calculate the cost of heat generation and consumer usage in real time, reducing risk and giving peace of mind.