Centrica has become the latest energy firm to dip its toes into blockchain technology as it announced a new trial today that will explore how a distributed ledger system can be used to help consumers save on energy.
The firm, which owns British Gas, is working in partnership with US blockchain startup LO3 Energy to roll out the tech in Cornwall through a local energy market programme that it launched in December 2016 to test how distributed power generation and storage could help support local grid flexibility.
Using LO3's data platform, Exergy, the blockchain trial will test different energy transactions, including multi-party peer-to-peer trading across 200 business and residential participants.
Although there are a number of energy firms dabbling in distributed ledger technology – including London startup Verv, which earlier this month completed the UK's first physical trade of energy on the blockchain – the FTSE 100 company's high profile could bring the technology further into the mainstream.
Mark Hanafin, chief executive of Centrica's business arm, said digital technologies luxury are having a "significant impact" on the energy sector by allowing companies to find "new and better ways" of delivering energy and services to customers.
The UK's Big Six energy firms, including British Gas, have come under fire from the government over poor service and rising prices.
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