Since there are no currently active contests, we have switched Climate CoLab to read-only mode.
Learn more at
Skip navigation
Share via:


Access utility-scale power on-demand and save up to 50% of costs on- and of-the-grid.


Summary / Résumé

Utilicom Energy takes energy from the sun, wind or the grid during the day, stores it and uses it during peak times to provide grid-scale clean and resilient power on-demand, and allows consumers to save up to 50% on costs with cryptocurrency.

We map, add sensors; software and batteries to new and existing power grids and, minimize power transmission and distribution losses using Artificial Intelligence.

What actions do you propose? / Quelles actions proposez-vous?

Electricity consumers lack an easy way to maximize their access to clean energy and manage bills.

  • No information on usage to help react to changes on the grid quickly.
  • Price of electricity changes throughout the day but you can’t see it with current meters.
  • Little opportunity to avoid peak charges and power surges
  • Prolonged blackouts

Power utilities spend too much time/money physically locating faults and manually rerouting power when they would rather be supplying power 24/7.

We are proposing to develop a turn-key blockchain micro-grid and electricity crypto-currency.

‘‘Access utility-scale power on-demand and save up to 50% of costs on- and off-grid”

Utilicom Open Grid Mapp and website Energy asset mapping and tracking app. (Available on 9 different platforms and across multiple devices: Android Mobile Devices, Android Tablets, iOS Mobile Devices, iOS Tablets, OS X, Chrome, Windows, Firefox, and Linux.)

Geopowertag: Map local energy assets and connections on the grid.

  • Single view for all assets
  • Filter by type/power rating/location/status/GSM ID/substation.
  • Rapid Response: Instant SMS/Audio notifications on the status of assets

Open-source Decentralized Reserve Battery

  • Dynamic Capacity: Reduce demands on distribution and transmission infrastructure.
  • Flexible Ramping: Support local and system ramping needs cost effectively.
  • Frequency Regulation: Participate in foursecond frequency regulation markets.
  • Voltage and Reactive Power Support: Provide voltage and reactive power support at local and bulk power levels.
  • Emergency Backup: Enhance system resiliency with aggregated customer battery installations.
  • Situational Intelligence: Gain secondby-second visibility of the grid edge.

System Specifications:

  • AC Voltage 380 to 480V, 3 phases
  • Energy Capacity 200 kWh (AC) per Module
  • Power 50kW (AC) per Module
  • Scalable Inverter Power from 50kVA to 625kVA (at 480V)
  • System Efficiency (AC) * 88% round-trip (2 hour system) 89% round-trip (4 hour system)
  • Depth of Discharge 100%

UtilicomPowerCoin (PWR) ERC 20 Token built on the Ethereum protocol.

  • Users can buy and sell electricity directly from each other, without going through a public grid.
  • Users can insure energy assets against climaterisk using a weather-indexed automated climate-risk insurance smart contract.


Which types of stakeholders are involved, in which way? / Quels types de parties prenantes sont impliqués, de quelle façon?


  • More clean, resilient and affordable power; producers and utilities compete for their business
  • Save money by reducing expensive diesel and utility costs and eliminate interruptions from blackouts.
  • Great job; power producers and utilities work hard for zero-waste and 24/7 up-time.

Utilities and Independent Power Producers (IPPs):

  • More power; less power lost at generation, transmission and distribution
  • More money; more time serving customers
  • Grow faster; dynamic capacity + zero-waste = 24/7 up-time


How could the actions be scaled up at the neighborhood or city level? / Comment serait-il possible d'augmenter la portée des actions à l'échelle des quartiers ou de la ville?

How we make money

We charge utilities and independent power producers for energy storage and electricity supply.

  • Electricity is supplied through a 20year power purchase agreement (PPA)
  • Storage is contracted under a solar PPA model with an embedded 10year term Capacity Services Exhibit; buyers pay Utilicom a fixed monthly Capacity Services Charge.
    • Performance guarantee in the form of a Capacity Maintenance Agreement (CMA) ensures a minimum amount of system energy is available that customers can utilize each year during the term of the PPA.

Marketing and Sales (Acquiring customers):

  • Online marketing inc. SEM, SEO, SMM, daily deals
  • Refer-a-friend discounts for consumers
  • Volume/loyalty discounts for consumers and energy producers
  • Incentive program for HR and office managers

Customer Service (Keeping customers)

  • Dedicated customer service representatives for each DMA
  • Utilicom Energy staffed community message board for consumer (public) and grid managers (login required)

Product Developement (Staying competitive):

  • Customer Development Advisory Board to drive consumer features
  • Product Development Advisory Board to drive grid features
  • Add Quantum Swap across blockchains
  • Add renewable energy sources; solar, wind, geothermal, etc.

Key Metrics:



What impact will these actions have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change? / Quels impacts auront ces actions sur la réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre et l'adaptation aux changements climatiques?

  • Highest historical CO2 level – 407.61 PPM (Nasa,2018)
  • Global electricity production (IEA,2017):
    • Coal 40%
    • Natural Gas 22.2%
    • Hydro 16.3%
    • Nuclear 10.8%
    • Petroleum 3.4%
    • Wind 1.7%
    • Solar 1.3%
    • Geothermal 0.3%
    • Other Renewables 0.1%
  • Sub-Sahara Africa:
    • Installed Capacity: 93,729MW (World Bank, 2016)
    • >635 million people without access to electricity (IEA, 2016)
  • Zambia
    • 73% of the population live off-the-grid (CSO,2016)

A fully-distributed transactive micro-grid could increase capacity by a factor of 2 and save an estimated save $250 million per year n Zambia alone.

What are the other environmental, economic or social benefits? / Quels sont les autres bénéfices environnementaux, économiques et sociaux?

Improved quality of life and health outcomes:

  • Reduced exposure to harmful pollutants.
  • Improvements to the cold chain, which are believed to be vital for vaccination, and access to electrified clinics is anticipated to improve health outcomes (Morrisey, 2017)

Increased household income:

  • More productive hours, including increased study hours for students.
  • Pumped irrigation, potentially improving farm incomes, as well as for the diversification of income as households engage in agroprocessing and undertake light manufacturing. (Morrisey, 2017)                            

Improved environmental outcomes: Reduced demand for biofuels will lessen pressures on forests (Lewis & Pattanayak, 2012), with positive impacts for forest services including reducing runoff and climate change mitigation.

Access to ICTs and improved services:

  • Schools, clinics, and government offices can be made more effective by access to electricity, with important impacts for the well-being of people who access them.
  • Improved quality of life in rural areas is expected to help retain qualified staff (such as teachers, nurses, bureaucrats), which will further improve access to services (Morrisey, 2017).


What are the most innovative aspects and main strengths of this approach? / Quels sont les aspects novateurs et les principales forces de cette approche?

  • Utilicom Energy uses a flexible and infinitely scalable modular turn-key system.
    • Customers can build what they need now, and if peak demand grows, they can add more.
    • Does not tie up capital like the traditional power plants.
  • All transactions on the Utilicom grid are documented in a permanent decentralized record, and monitored securely and transparently.
    • Reduces times delays and human mistakes
  • Utilicom Energy monitors costs, labor and emissions at any point in the supply chain.
    • Helps understand and control the real environmental impacts of energy products.

What are the proposal’s projected costs? / Quels sont les coûts projetés de la proposition?

Bootstrapped by founders through customer development and MVP/proof of concept phase, the project costs to date include;

  • Creating OpenGridMapp and website prototypes (approximately 240)
  • Creating UtilicomPowerCoin ERC 20 Token on Ropsten Test Network (approximately 40 hours)
  • Creating UtilicomPowerCoin ICO Test website (approximately 20 hours)
  • Designing OpenGridMapp GSM power sensor (approximately 120 hours)
  • Time writing proposal (approximately 50 hours).

Based on a typical hourly rate for a professional engineer, project costs to date would total in dollars an estimated $23,500 – $117,500

We are seeking $85,000 seed funding (target close by EOQ3), so we can:

  • Add 100kW / 400kWh battery to the grid
  • Demonstrate how distributed energy resources can be coordinated by the utility to optimize electricity distribution planning and operations.
  • Scale/refine marketing/customer acquisition
  • Scale customer service
  • Scale infrastructure

The proposed budget is as follows:

Customer creation    $7,000  14%

Other Direct Costs   $5,000  10%


  • Design, test and debug GSM transformer sensor           
  • Create Grid front-end prototype            
  • Test and debug Open Grid Mapp and website                   
  • Test and debug Grid front-end                        
  • Test and debug UtilicomPowerCoin Token           
  • Publish UtilicomPowerCoin token                     
  • Publish UtilicomPowerCoin ICO website                      

Equipment       $30,000  60%

TOTAL $50,000

What are the potential challenges or obstacles? / Quels sont les défis ou les obstacles potentiels?

  • Low dynamic power capacity – battery size – and mobile broadband connectivity
  • Regulation on independent power production/supply, crypto-currency and broadband networks.
  • No or inadequate growth funding

About the authors / À propos des auteur(e)s

Chifungu Samazaka

References / Références

  1. Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet. (2018). Global Climate Change. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 Jan. 2018].
  2. Trimble, Christopher Philip; Kojima, Masami; Perez Arroyo, Ines; Mohammadzadeh, Farah. 2016. Financial viability of electricity sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa : quasi-fiscal deficits and hidden costs (English).
  3. Policy Research working paper; no. WPS 7788. Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.
  4. EA (2015), Key World Statistics 2017, IEA, Paris, [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 Jan. 2018].