Northern Gas Networks signs IOTICS to unlock future energy solutions

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023

Digital cooperation capability from IOTICS enables a decentralised data ecosystem for the ground-breaking Northern Gas Networks (NGN) Customer Energy Village.

Northern Gas Networks has selected technology from IOTICS and unique architecture to enable a multi-party, cross-sector data ecosystem. Northern Gas Networks deliver gas to 2.7 million homes and businesses in the North East, Northern Cumbria and much of Yorkshire and the data ecosystem will provide a decentralised digital spine for the recently announced NGN Customer Energy Village [] that aims to help its customers move to lower carbon, lower cost energy.

Keith Owen, Head of Systems Development at Northern Gas Networks said: “We’re delighted to be working with IOTICS to provide us with valuable performance data from our Customer Energy Village. The village will help us understand the performance of different technologies and solutions to decarbonise homes and access to real-time digital data will play a vital role.”

NGN Customer Energy Village is a testbed of nine homes from different building eras, from 1910s to 1990s. They are representative of the millions of homes that will require new energy solutions to meet the UK’s 2050 net zero target. Through the Customer Energy Village, a team of industry academics and engineers from an initial six organisations, utilities and enterprises will work together delivering breakthroughs in the decarbonisation of heat, energy storage and transport. The aim is to identify the most affordable and practical solution to moving customers onto low carbon, low-cost energy.

Construction of the new Customer Energy Village began in February 2022. Each stakeholder will leverage IOTICS to securely share across a decentralised cooperative ecosystem. Learning at scale, the multi-party, cross-sector undertaking will evolve as insights, solutions and new business models are tested and scaled.

Each stakeholder has an IOTICSpace, to selectively share information and inputs across organisational boundaries. Semantically linking asset data, context, and inputs across the ecosystem, while ensuring that all parties maintain ownership and control of their own data, analytics and application. IOTICS-enabled digital cooperation provides an easily navigated ecosystem, where real-time and synthetic dynamic data is shared. It also has the flexibility to add and change participants, sources and consumers without need for costly and labour-intensive development or data governance issues.

Ali Nicholl, Head of Engagement at IOTICS said: “United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated at the recent COP27 summit “Humanity has a choice: cooperate or perish”. We are delighted to be able to play a part in enabling world leading, ambitious, vital projects like Northern Gas Network’s Customer Energy Village to cooperate with their corporate, utility, enterprise, and academic partners. It is only through developing a shared understanding of people, assets, and places across boundaries that we can embrace the complexity of the situation and identify the right solutions to drive the change we all recognise is needed”.

Keith Owen explained: “There is increasing awareness and urgency to address the challenges of climate change. We are all very aware and increasingly vocal about the impact our changing climate is having on our way of life, our health and the profound changes being seen in the natural environment and the need to act now to protect our future.

“It is a hugely complex challenge, and we need to identify a variety of solutions that will work across the wide range of homes in the UK. This will help us identify the most efficient and affordable solutions that work to support a fair transition to low carbon living for all.”


About Northern Gas Networks

  1. NGN started operating in 2005 and has been leading the way as one of the most cost-efficient of the UK’s eight gas distribution networks. NGN delivers great value for money to customers, as well as a whole host of social and economic benefits to the region. NGN is recognised as a dynamic, passionate, conscious and people focused team that safely and reliably delivers gas to over 2.7 million homes and businesses across the North East, northern Cumbria and much of Yorkshire.
  2. NGN is leading H21, the gas industry’s flagship suite of projects funded by Ofgem, to demonstrate that the existing gas network can be repurposed to carry hydrogen. After proving that it is technically possible and economically viable for the gas network to transport hydrogen, the H21 project is currently examining the safety implications of a hydrogen gas network and has carried out extensive testing.
  3. NGN is a partner in HyDeploy, a project to blend 20% hydrogen into the existing gas supply with no changes required in customer homes. HyDeploy successfully supplied a hydrogen blend to 668 properties in Winlaton, Gateshead from summer 2021 for 11 months.
  4. NGN built the UK’s first homes to demonstrate 100% hydrogen appliances to the public in partnership with Cadent Gas and the Government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The semi-detached houses, which are open to the public are based at NGN’s Low Thornley site near Gateshead and include hydrogen bookers, boilers, fires and even a barbecue.

IOTICS enables digital cooperation between enterprises. IOTICS’ patented capability leverages semantics, streaming data, and digital twins, to enable evolving trust between organisations and decentralised sharing of asset information and inputs across ecosystems in real time.

Founded in 2014, IOTICS has developed and deployed IOTICSpace, where anyone can cooperate with everyone to solve the world’s most complex problems.