A SMARTER FUTURE: THE SMART ENERGY SYSTEM REVOLUTION
We've got smart TVs, smart phones and even smart motorways. Now it's the turn of our energy system to get smarter.
What is a smart energy system?
As part of an exciting energy revolution that's under way in Great Britain, a new smart energy system is being developed that will use digital technology to actively monitor what electricity the country needs, when it needs it - then suppliers can generate enough to meet demand.
Smart meters are key to a modern smart energy system because they'll gather the information the energy networks require to react to the amount of energy needed.
This will help the energy system better manage the supply and demand of energy to reduce waste, and also shift energy usage away from traditional peak times – which are currently reliant on fossil fuel energy – and make more use of renewables.
So, just by having a smart meter installed, you will help us to reduce our carbon emissions as a nation, even without making changes to how you use energy at home.
Why do we need one?
Our current energy system simply can’t map the demands from homes and businesses accurately, so a lot of energy goes to waste.
A smart energy system, working with smart meters, will help reduce waste because it will know precisely where to direct our valuable resources.
For example, if London's energy use peaks between 8pm and 10pm, and Newcastle's peaks between 7pm and 9pm, then resources can be redistributed to reflect this.
A smart solution
By upgrading to a smart meter you're helping to move Britain towards a cleaner, greener, lower-carbon economy.
- Find out more about how smart meters can help reduce your carbon footprint
Helping us be smarter with our energy
Smart meters are having a positive impact on how people use energy, with nearly three quarters saying they're doing more to save energy since getting one.1
Sarah, a mum of two from Chelmsford, says her boys no longer leave their gaming consoles on standby and she always makes sure they turn the lights off. By making a few changes around the house, she's seen significant savings on her gas and electricity bills.
My name's Sarah, I live in Chelmsford, I've got two children, one's six and one's sixteen. Being able to afford and cover the bills right now is really hard.
The rise in the cost of living has impacted us significantly because the gas, the electric, the food bills, school uniform, you know, everything's gone up and it's impacting life a lot more.
So I started noticing my bills were going up just before Christmas, and it's really hard to stay in control and know which ones to pay first. It might be a bill rather than a jumper for my child, you know? You can't control something that you've got no control over, so you have to just worry, and worry for the next month to the next month.
Previously, before having a smart meter, I wasn't really aware of how much the tumble dryer or the washing machine, leaving the cooker on, leaving the TV on costs. Whereas now having a smart meter, I'd consciously turn the cooker off in the evening, the washing machine, the tumble dryer, the VT goes off. The smart meter that I have does show me what I'm spending, what I've got left, when I need to top up. And that's a small bit of control that I have got.
As well as having the in-home display, I also have the app on my phone, which is perfect because whilst I'm at work throughout the day I'll check the app and if I can see that the meters are running low I can quickly top up, I don't have to leave. You know, really easy: just go to the app and top it straight up and then you can see that the balance has gone up within a couple of minutes.
Anyone that's struggling as in friends or family, I would recommend a smart meter because you definitely know what you're spending.
Positive incentive to use energy outside peak times will help us as a nation balance supply with demand without having to build and generate more dirty and expensive energy. The National Infrastructure Commission say that a truly smart energy system could save the nation £8bn each year!
1Sourced from Populus, Smart energy outlook March 2019, smartenergyGB.org