BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 26 July '17

Government and Ofgem set out plan to put consumers in control of energy – and save £40bn

A plan to give homes and businesses more control over their energy use and to support innovative new technologies has been set out by business and energy secretary Greg Clark as part of the Industrial Strategy.

The plan is to transform how homes and businesses store and use energy. It promises a ‘smarter, more flexible energy system’ by removing barriers to smart and battery technology, which will result in reduced costs for consumers.

£40bn savings

The report, Upgrading our energy system, describes how the UK energy system is changing and how it can ensure economic benefits for businesses and households.

Over a quarter of the UK’s electricity is being generated through renewables such as wind and solar, much of it located close to homes and businesses. New technologies that help store and manage energy are emerging and their costs are falling.

These changes provide an opportunity to create new businesses and jobs in the UK. At the same time new smart technologies like smart meters – and appliances you can control from your mobile phone – along with other improvements to manage the energy system will help the country save up to £40 billion on energy costs over decades to come.

‘Upgrading our energy system to make sure it is fit for the future is a key part of our Industrial Strategy to deliver a smarter, more flexible energy system. A smarter energy system will create new businesses and high-skilled jobs, while making sure our infrastructure is able to cope with demand.

‘We are determined through our Industrial Strategy to address the challenges we face and ensure our energy is reliable, affordable and clean.’

GREG CLARK
Business and energy secretary

Consumer benefits

By rolling out smart meters, enabling suppliers to offer lower tariffs and making it easier for firms to develop smart appliances and gadgets, the plan will help consumers use energy when it is cheapest or get rewarded for returning it to the grid when it’s needed.

The plan also recognises the role that energy storage can play in a smart energy grid and the opportunities presented by falling costs of battery technologies designed to store surplus energy. To allow industry to exploit these new technologies, government and Ofgem have committed to removing barriers to the introduction of this technology into our power network.

‘The way we are generating and using energy in Britain is changing rapidly. Today’s plan sets out how Ofgem, Government and the industry will work together to modernise the energy system and make sure consumers get the benefits of the changes.

‘We want to open the door to new technologies and services so that they can help to reduce bills for consumers in the long term. It is vital that we get the changes in place as there is potential for a smarter system to save consumers billions between now and 2050.’

ANDREW WRIGHT
Senior partner, energy systems, Ofgem

Battery-powered homes

British company Moixa, a MyGreenPod.com Hero, has been presented as a case study for the report. It offers residential battery systems that can help manage energy demands across the electricity network, make better use of energy generated by rooftop solar panels and enable suppliers to reward consumers who charge their batteries during periods of low demand, when prices are lower.

These systems have been deployed in nearly 1,000 homes across the UK, and Moixa calculates that they could help consumers save up to 60% on their electricity bills.

‘Moixa welcomes this plan which recognises the central importance of energy storage in upgrading the UK Energy System – and the potential to save £40bn off future customer bills. The regulatory improvements proposed and Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund will help storage providers like Moixa participate better in energy markets, and enable our utility partners to deliver smart tariffs to customers. The actions will make the UK a global leader for new smart technologies and accelerate the transition to a cost-effective, resilient and low carbon energy system.’

SIMON DANIEL
CEO of Moixa Energy Holdings

Battery-powered homes, an article on Moixa and Simon Daniel, appears in the summer issue of MyGreenPod.com Magazine, distributed with the Guardian on 14 July 2017. Click here to read the full digital issue online.

’Thousands of jobs’

The plan will also make it easier for new businesses to help customers that are interested in reducing, or increasing, their energy use at certain times, which can help balance the calls on the electricity network.

As part of the Industrial Strategy, the government has committed to modernising the UK’s energy system and developing a business environment where new entrants to the market can compete. This will also allow industry to develop innovative new products and services, creating thousands of jobs.

‘Upgrading our energy systems is vital if we are to have clean, affordable and secure supply for the long-term and meet our targets for reducing carbon emissions.

‘This plan is a clear step forward, and was one of the 12 key infrastructure decisions we said needed to be made as a matter of urgency. I’m particularly pleased that many of the 29 points listed today directly follow recommendations in our Smart Power report.

‘Our study demonstrated the revolution our energy sector is going through, and the real benefits we can get from that in terms of greater efficiency, flexibility and value for money for customers. The measures announced today will lead to exciting innovations in the industry to help make that happen.’

LORD ADONIS
Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission

Click here to find out more about Moixa’s home battery systems and how they work.