12 interviews of Christmas: Steve Shine, Anesco

Happy Christmas to all our readers. To celebrate the start of 2020 we present 12 interviews previously only available to our subscribers.

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Energy companies have been talking about ‘energy as a service’ for  decades, but new offers are all about the hardware. Janet Wood spoke Anesco’s Steve Shine for the July 2019 issue of New Power Report


Steve Shine Anesco Anesco has launched a new venture aimed at the domestic market. The ‘Anesco at Home’ package would address the whole home, adding insulation and other efficiency measures to raise the property’s energy rating and installing solar, storage, heat pumps (which would attract Renewable Heat Incentive support) and EV charging technology depending on the customer’s needs.

Chief executive Steve Shine told New Power his ambition was to take on 3-5% of the UK’s domestic properties within four years, saying that would be “game changing” for Anesco.

Anesco’s software would log data on the customer’s generation and usage and manage the system according to predicted weather and usage, so that power is stored or used at times when grid electricity prices are high, and exported when the price is right.

Shine notes that all suppliers with more than 150,000 customers will have to offer an export tariff from December. The ‘smart export guarantee’ is “not a bad tariff, but why would you want to sell back to the grid?” Shine asks, saying consumers would be better off storing excess power and using it at peak times.

Nevertheless, Anesco does not plan to become a supplier, so customers will require a supply contract from another company so they can get both an export tariff and a supply where their own generation and storage is insufficient. The software would combine with an auto-switching service (Anesco has signed an agreement with Flipper, now owned by Wessex Water) so the user would be switched automatically whenever it is beneficial, using data collected by the system to pick the right tariff (and export tariff). “It’s part of our maintenance package,” he says. That connection will be operating by October. He also expects ultimately that the Anesco system will be able to bid its aggregate customer flexibility into National Grid markets.

Shine claims that the ability to switch suppliers was very important. Customers want to avoid signing long term contracts with existing suppliers, he believe. That is why, to roll out the approach, Shine wants to partner with other organisations that have a customer relationship. He names DIY outlets, supermarkets and appliance providers such as Dyson among the possible partners. At the moment, he says, Anesco “is not a customer brand. We’ll partner with any brand name consumers trust.”

Shine is also about to sign a supply agreement with a smart meter contractor; he says meter suppliers have found it hard to get leads to increase their installation rates, but Anesco will have those so it is an attractive partner.

Anesco at Home marks the first time the company has directly targeted homeowners. Eventually Shine wants local authorities and housing associations – with whom Anesco has worked for many years to install ECO energy efficiency improvements – to roll out the solution at large scale. At first, however, he recognises that the capital cost involved in individual house surveys, bespoke energy efficiency installation and the cost of PV, batteries, heat pumps and chargers means that well-off households are likely to be the main buyers initially. They will see the investment pay-off in 8-10 years, he says, and he believes “there will be products around to finance it”, including ‘green’ mortgages.

But Shine does anticipate a large roll-out among several groups: those with PV panels; those off the gas grid, especially if they use LPG or oil for heat (he can’t see a future for gas boilers); and those with PV or EV already. “We have a million solar installations already, there is no reason why they shouldn’t benefit,” he says.

According to Anesco, households in a recent trial with all the technologies installed saw a 40% reduction in their energy bills. RHI payments offset the remaining costs. They also reduced their carbon emissions by around 60%.


New Power Report subscription includes:

  • Weekly email Update
  • Monthly New Power Report – analysis and insight
  • Access to our online Database  - search and sort data on 2500 UK power assets 

For more details and to join our next free trial, send your name, job title, company and email address to Daniel Coyne: [email protected]   

Subscribers: login to read many more interviews in our editorial archive. Here is a selection:

Mark Wilson, ILI Energy:  Janet Wood spoke to an entrepreneur who is translating a relationship with farmers in Scotland into ambitious plans to help meet the GB energy market’s desperate need for storage.

Andy Kinsella, Mainstream: Renewables are taking over the world – could the UK lose its lead in offshore wind? Mainstream Renewable Power is one of a “new class of renewable energy majors”, according to the company’s group chief executive Andy Kinsella.

Mick Farr and Scott Keen, Triton Power Triton Power is grappling with the Capacity Market hiatus alongside other issues. Janet Wood talked them over with president and chief operating officer Mick Farr and commercial director Scott Keen

Maxine Frerk, Grid Edge Policy At Ofgem and Decc, Maxine Frerk was at the centre of major industry steps towards a smart system, including RIIO and the smart meter rollout. She spoke to Janet Wood about those developments now

Emma Pinchbeck, RenewableUK Renewables are now big business for energy and for UK Plc. Emma Pinchbeck looked at their long-term development with Janet Wood

GemServ’s Alex Goody Some of the hardest issues to be dealt with in energy are in software and data. Gemserv chief executive Alex Goody discusses them with Janet Wood

Mark Elmer and John Greasley, Nemo Link Nemo Link, a 1000MW interconnector between the GB and Belgian markets, is due to go into operation in the next few months.

Greg Jackson, Octopus Energy Greg Jackson brings experience of retail and of new technologies to the energy supply business.

Louise Manfredi, Leep Utilities This month Ofgem published an update on its plans for competition in expending transmission networks.

Roger Hey, Future Networks Manager, WPD DNOs are accused of being barriers to a new energy system. WPD future networks manager Roger Hey says that’s far from the case

Jim Watson, UKERC Reducing demand and maximising flexibility are the keys to a resilient energy system, according to new work by UKERC. Janet Wood spoke to Jim Watson about the report’s futures and managing the transition

Lesley Rudd, Sustainable Energy Association The home is where much of the innovation in the energy industry has to take place, whether it is using new technologies or in convincing consumers to be more active energy users

Jo-Jo Hubbard, Electron Jo-Jo Hubbard spoke to Janet Wood about the threats and opportunities of blockchain, and the experience of innovation in the energy industry