For many, energy bills are getting more and more expensive, fast becoming an extra financial burden when times are already tough. According to the U.K.'s Department of Energy and Climate Change, the average standard credit bill for electricity in England and Wales in 2014 was £616 ($946) in 2014, up from £599 a year earlier and £561 in 2012.
California based Sunverge is looking to transform the way we consume energy, making it cheaper and greener. Their Solar Integration System (SIS) is described by the company as an, "intelligent distributed energy storage system that captures solar power and delivers it when needed most."
Designed so that homes and offices can cut their energy bills, SIS units integrate with both new and existing solar systems and connect to the grid and local electricity supplies, according to the Sunverge website.
"For the consumer… they're able to optimize their bill, they're able to improve their power quality, and they're able to have reliable back-up power, even when the grid goes down," Kenneth Munson, CEO of Sunverge, told CNBC's Sustainable Energy. "If the sun is up, solar continues to produce power to the home, it can be stored and shifted," Munson added.
The unit's smart technology means that it constantly keeps an eye on how much energy it's generating and how much is being used. If, for example, the system is generating an excess of solar power, it is stored away for use when required.
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"Typically, during the day, when you're gone for the day, you would have a little bit of usage in the morning, it would steady off during the day and then at night there would be a little bit of [a] peak," Jon Adair, a Sunverge customer, said.
Another key component of Sunverge's system is the creation of what it calls a, "virtual power plant." The more units that are deployed across sites, the bigger the plant gets.
"Aggregated power and energy is reserved, scheduled, and dispatched across the fleet of units," according to the Sunverge website.
"Not only can our platform adopt PV [photovoltaic], but it can also adopt wind and or a natural gas generator or a diesel genset," Munson said.
"As importantly, [it] can reach inside the home and manage smart appliances, plug load devices, smart thermostats and whole home automation technologies like a home energy management system," he added.