A new platform to enable peer-to-peer (P2P) energy transfer has been developed which allows crowd-sourced energy to be donated to others in need. With the goal of a world where everyone has access to energy, Gridmates is the first cloud platform to allow users to share their energy in such a way and hopes to tackle the issue of energy poverty. It was developed by Greek entrepreneur George Koutitas, now living in Austin, Texas.
Gridmates fosters the transfer of units of energy. It allows users to go online and find a person or organisation to whom they wish to donate; the units of energy are then transferred from the donor and to the recipient.
The concept of sharing units of energy is one which has been explored by a few other start-ups including Dutch service Vandebron, founded in 2013, where consumers can purchase electricity from independent renewable producers. Another platform, Open Utility, enables peer-to-peer electricity transactions. The Crowd Power Plant, launched in January 2014 by two Imperial College London graduates, brings together small renewable energy producers to sell in bulk to energy suppliers. However, Gridmates is the first platform however for peer-to-peer transfer aimed at donating to those in need.
The platform aims to serve the 40 million people living in energy poverty in the US. Its pilot partner is the Community First! village in Central Texas, which provides support and housing for disabled and homeless people. It is hoped the community will be powered completely by crowd-sourced energy.