Geo is calling for in-home display units to be replaced with newly developed home energy management systems, which can deliver bigger savings for consumers.
Better use of untapped data generated by smart meters could deliver near-term cuts in bills and household emissions for more than 13 million British homes while at the same time increasing energy security, research indicates.
According to independent research and industry analysis, making the most of data from smart meters can unlock energy savings of around 20 per on the average bill, the equivalent of around £400 a year.
Home energy management
But Cambridge-based smart energy specialist Green Energy Options (Geo), which has provided more than 7.5 million in-home display units (IHDs) for the smart meter roll-out, reckons the time is right to replace them with newly developed home energy management systems, which can deliver bigger savings for consumers.
At the start of the smart meter roll-out in the UK, IHDs provided helpful information about consumption to allow consumers to make informed choices about their energy use. Technology has moved on and, while older IHDs are still useful, the next generation has evolved to become much more capable home energy management systems (Hems) that make better use of smart meter data to learn about an individual household’s energy use and then automate energy efficiency measures, Geo reports.
“Advances in technology mean we can make better use of the data that smart meters provide to deliver an energy revolution in the home”
In addition to heating savings, a home’s Hems can deliver savings on electricity by automating energy savings across the various systems and appliances that consume energy. Again, this is possible by making better use of the smart meter’s data. According to Geo, Hems understand when the home can use energy more efficiently and when it can avoid using more expensive energy.
It can then coordinate the devices in the home to make savings without the consumer needing to change their behaviour. For example, running white goods off-peak when energy is cheapest. While the smart meter roll-out has always had this as a goal, it’s only now that the low-cost, high-capability technology to realise its full potential for every home has become available, Geo claims.
“Britain has so far fitted half of all British homes with some of the most sophisticated smart meters in the world, but their potential to cut bills risks going to waste,” said Steve Cunningham, CEO of Geo.
“Advances in technology mean we can make better use of the data that smart meters provide to deliver an energy revolution in the home. Those benefits can start today, delivering around £400 a year of much needed energy savings for hard-pressed consumers.”
“With energy bills expected to rise to almost £2,800 a year in October, it’s vital that industry, government and the regulator come together to rapidly roll-out this technology”
He continued: “With energy bills expected to rise to almost £2,800 a year in October, it’s vital that industry, government and the regulator come together to rapidly roll-out this technology. As a first step, Geo is convening a discussion with like-minded organisations to engage with government and identify the most effective pathways to roll-out Hems and domestic demand side technology at scale.”
Consumer energy bills
If Hems, rather than more traditional IHDs, were to be installed in the 13 million British homes yet to have a smart meter fitted, they would save more than £15bn on consumer energy bills and more than 11 million tons of emitted CO2 over the next five years, Geo claims.
These figures would more than double if energy suppliers retrofit homes that already have a smart meter, as a simple and cost-effective upgrade.