Energy efficiency technology, price incentives and better consumer engagement could reduce the annual electricity consumption of UK households by 2.5 million MWh per year.
That’s the conclusion reached by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) following its Solent Achieving Value from Efficiency (SAVE) project, a five-year-long energy efficiency programme run across 8,000 homes in the Solent region.
SSEN notes the initiative, which was funded through Ofgem, achieved a significant reduction in carbon emissions and household energy costs by “fusing smart technologies with customer interaction” and installing measures such as LED lighting in homes.
Targeting only domestic customers, SSEN said the scheme revealed energy efficiency is highly effective in managing peak demand and can provide a viable alternative to network reinforcement.
It notes new charging structures more similar to the way people pay for their broadband connection than traditional energy billing methods could help simplify and smarten the relationship between consumers and suppliers.
It notes if the scheme was rolled out to all 3.8 million SSEN customers, the positive effect on the environment could be the equivalent of removing 28,000 cars from the UK’s roads.
Charlie Edwards, SSEN’s SAVE Project Manager said: “The project was based in the Solent region, as it was representative of much of the UK, in terms of demand, and focused on how it could improve the lives of more vulnerable customers while still reducing carbon emissions.
“To supply all of the country’s homes with LED bulbs could reduce peak electricity demand by the same amount as our current largest nuclear power station and is estimated to cost Distribution Network Operator just a fifth of the sum.”