Energy AI venture

USIO energy - innovative UK energy retailer using Artificial Intelligence to deliver personalised energy

From January 2017 - November 2018, our Managing Director, Vincent Tuk - founded USIO energy. USIO energy was a domestic gas and electricity retailer/supplier to UK households. USIO’s unique approach was based on its in house developed Artificial Intelligence platform. This platform enabled USIO to more accurately forecast demand for each individual household and buy energy more accurately and cheaper.

USIO obtained its full license in March 2018 and quickly grew its customer base to 7,500 in 6 months, equal to GBP 7.5million annualised turn-over. USIO was also developing its B2B business, working with energy companies in the United States and Europe to sell its AI platform as SAAS to other energy companies. End Q3 USIO was hit by a vexatious lawsuit by one of its former service partners - this lawsuit blocked USIO’s agreed venture capital funding round. Consequently the USIO board decided to cease trading in October 2018 and transferred its customer base to another UK energy retailer.


EV acceleration strategy

Supporting utility with strategic decision to accelerate EV investment program

The Board of our client had requested the EV division to consider accelerating its EV investment activities. Given how fast regional and global EV market were accelerating, the client wanted to evaluate the benefits of an accelerating its investment level with a factor 5-10X. Cleanreturns and partners supported the EV subsidiary and selected Group board members in evaluating both the opportunity and risk of maintaining the current strategy or materially accelerating organic and M&A activity.


M&A Strategy

Supporting an EU utility on creating strategic business case to pursue acquisition of electric vehicle service provider

Our client a utility, which was presented with the option to either partially or fully acquire an Electric Vehicle Service Provider operating in multiple countries. The client first needed support to clarify its medium term EV strategy, subsequently we overlaid how well the potential acquisition matched the strategic objectives. Finally, we supported the board in tactical deal considerations.


connected home - demand response

Strategy and business development for advanced residential demand respond platform provider

Our client had developed a world leading platform to provide frequency response services using distributed electric heating sources in domestic households. The platform met the strictest grid requirements in Europe. Our client operated the largest pool of household appliances providing frequency response services into the grid. Cleanreturns supported the company with the strategy and implementation for expansion into other international markets as well as sourcing a partnership with a world leading domestic energy storage company. Other activities included developing country specific economics, establishing commercial relationships with potential clients, facilitating and preparing tenders, etc.

EV charging.jpg

managed charging

Full design, built and program management of global trial

Our client was a global energy company looking to clarify its potential role in the emerging electric vehicle landscape. We designed, sourced partners and built a 2.5 year program, comprising of 3 trials in San Diego, London and Hamburg. The objective was to understand the potential of a global managed charging business model for electric vehicles. Managed charging means using technology to smart charge electric vehicles when energy is cheap, but also by avoiding demand charges or generating extra income of the energy and ancillary services markets. Project partners included SDG&E, Tesla, Kiwi power, Fleet Karma, UK power networks, Driivz, etc. Our activities also included leading the strategy and business model underpinning the trials, recruiting fleet customers, designing the software platform specs, etc.


C&I demand response

Develop strategy and business for utility to establish demand response service line for its commercial customers

Our client was a leading energy retailer focussed on commercial customers. Our client also had large energy trading operations as well as a significant portfolio of distributed energy generation resources. Cleanreturns supported the Board and the Asian parent company in developing the strategy and business case for a new business service to deliver demand response services to its customers.


Connected home strategy

Develop strategy and engage partners for international DYI chain

Our client was an international DIY chain. They saw the acceleration in the connected home market. Cleanreturns supported a strategic review and engagement with 3rd party product and service providers. The core question was whether to shift to a (branded) platform/hub model and sell all connected products/services or continue to carry individual products until the global picture of platforms and standards was more clearly defined. We also sourced and facilitated various discussions between our client and 3rd party product/service providers to further confirm the strategic work and validate this with actual commercial partnership offers and models.