FUTURE PropTech sat down with Michael Wayne Bexton, head of energy services at Nottingham City Council to talk about open collaboration and the sustainability issues facing property.
So, tell us more about what you do
I’m the head of energy services at Nottingham City Council – which means I spend my time managing existing, and developing new, energy assets to deliver commercial and environmental benefits. We are the leading local authority for energy in the UK and are proud to be trailblazing for the public sector.
The theme of this year’s Future:Proptech is Open Collaboration. What does open collaboration mean to you?
Open collaboration is the ability to work towards common goals in partnership, whilst still being able to shape solutions to meet our own bespoke needs.
Our collaboration with the Innovation Gateway is a perfect example – as a local authority we have worked with big business including Tesco and Heathrow. Despite our obvious differences we have a shared vision of a sustainable future which has allowed us to develop solutions that are adaptable across the public and private sectors.
What trends and developments in the industry do you think will be discussed the most this year?
Holistic energy and sustainability solutions which are compatible across building types are undoubtedly the future. Our pilot of 10 Energiesprong properties within Nottingham has been hugely successful and we have now received European Regional Development Fund, funding to deliver a further 150 properties of this type in Nottingham. Watch this space!
What are the biggest challenges that the industry is facing at the moment?
For renewable energy integration in a subsidy free environment storage is undoubtedly our biggest challenge. Battery storage has advanced significantly, and the technology will support localised energy generation, ensuring our distribution network is fit for purpose and working with the Distribution Network Operators in their transition to a Distribution System Operator status is key.
What are you personally looking forward to the most at this year’s FUTURE PropTech?
I’m keen to get updates from key stakeholders on how their transition to a low carbon energy supply is moving forward.
Why should people be excited about the Innovation Gateway panel session?
The panel session will share some of the magic of the Innovation Gateway! We’ll talk about how the gateway sources innovation, the solutions it has provided and the ongoing challenges we are tackling together.