The Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE) is to be merged into the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE).
The trade bodies say the marriage will create a “powerful unified voice” for decentralised energy across the industrial, commercial, public and domestic sectors.
Tim Rotheray will continue in his role as director at ADE, while ACE chief executive Joanne Wade will take the role of deputy director.
“The ACE and the ADE have been working together for a while on different projects anyway and one of the key things that we’ve identified is that the work that we’re doing is increasingly overlapping,” Rotheray told Utility Week.
“In the energy sector we used to talk about supply and demand as two separate things but now the digitisation and decentralisation of energy mean that energy users have the ability to control and manage the energy on their site much more than they used to.
“The companies that are selling them equipment and services are not really selling them just insulation or just combined heat and power or just a heat network. They’re often selling a solution to that customer’s needs and it involves all of those things”.
“The idea is to create a single, clear voice for the decentralised energy sector which brings together all of the technologies that can be brought to bear on a customer’s site,” he added.
Wade said this convergence is evident of policy discussions with government: “We always end up talking about what one another is doing as well as what we’re doing ourselves.”
“We started talking about the merger a while back and throughout the period we’ve been talking the logic has become clearer and clearer to us.”
She continued: “We end up providing a stronger voice for our members, and also feeding it back, we end up providing more comprehensive intelligence to them on the way that policy is evolving”.
The clean growth strategy, the industrial strategy and the Scottish government’s recent consultation on the heat and energy efficiency all exemplify this new “user-led” way of thinking, according to Rotheray.
The combined organisation will represent nearly 150 members. ACE’s research activities will continue to be offered under the ACE Research brand.