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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

Smart meter in-home displays could save Great Britain £6 billion, report claims

08 May, 2014
New research published predicts over £6 billion savings on GB households gas and electricity bills from the In Home Displays (IHDs) offered to consumers as part of the Smart Meter rollout.

An independent research study conducted by VaasaETT in 2014 quantitatively reviewed findings of six British and European consumption feedback programmes with over 28,000 participants. A further six British studies, including research from three British utilities were used for qualitative data. 


Assessing the Use and Value of Energy Monitors in Great Britain found an average of 9% savings per year in electricity use for at least 3 years – paying for the cost of the IHD in less than four months. Across Great Britain, when rolled out to all electricity and gas customers, IHDs are expected to save over £6bn.



  • If we apply average consumption feedback reductions found in pilot programmes (those pilots analysed for this research, including some with IHDs and or CADs and some without) we estimate that an average residential electricity customer  in Great Britain would save approximately £37  as a result of being part of a consumption feedback programme  (if we use gov.uk average energy bill data from 2013). If we use current prices, the savings would be £40  per year 


  • If we apply average consumption feedback reductions found in pilot programmes without IHDs, we estimate that an average residential electricity customer in Great Britain would save approximately £27 per year as a result of being part of a consumption feedback programme (if we use gov.uk average energy bill data from 2013). If we use current prices, the saving would be £30.


  • If we apply typical average consumption feedback reductions found in pilot programmes that included IHDs, we estimate that a typical residential electricity customer in Great Britain would save approximately £49 per year as a result of being part of a consumption feedback programme (if we use gov.uk average energy bill data from 2013). This is an increase in savings of £22 per year over the savings in programmes without IHDs. If we use current prices, the saving would be £54.


  • If we assume that the savings from gas will be proportionately the same as for electricity (we expect the rate to actually be substantially higher for gas  but in the absence of comparative supporting research projects we have assumed the same as for electricity) we can estimate savings for residential gas customers in Great Britain. Based on an average British residential customer's gas bill  and a saving of 9% we can estimate that an average saving for a customer with an IHD would be £62. A customer with both electricity and gas and an IHD would therefore save £111 per year (based on gov.uk average energy bill data). 


  • If the £49 saving for the first year (for customers with electricity and an IHD) of usage is reduced by £15 to cover the cost of the IHD, making it £34, and then added to two subsequent years of £49 savings, then the saving for an electricity customer with an IHD will be £132 over three years. If applied to the estimated 25.6 million residential electricity customers in Great Britain  (assuming an 84% usage rate ), the combined savings would be over £2.8bn over three years.


  • If the £62 savings for gas customers with IHDs are then continued also until three years, making £186 and applied to the estimated 21.1 million residential gas customers  (assuming the same 84% usage rate) in Great Britain, a further combined saving of £3.3bn would be achieved.


  • The overall saving for British residential energy customers would therefore be over £6bn assuming just three years of usage per IHD.


  • Carbon savings: UK Targets : 3018m tonnes (UK 2008-2012 budget) - 2787 (UK 2018-2022 budget) = 474m tonnes reduction over 10 Years = 47.4m tonnes per year


  • Savings from Electricity  (9%) due to IHDs: 11.7m tonnes over three years = 3.9 m tonnes per year


  • 3.9m tonnes out of 47.4m tonnes = 8.22% per of the yearly UK CO2 reduction target.



Commenting on the findings, Baroness Verma, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State said “Consumer engagement is a key aim of the Smart Meter programme. We welcome this research which clearly shows the benefits to householders. In-home displays enable consumers to see what energy they are using and how much it is costing - putting them in control and helping avoid wasting energy and money.”

Howard Porter, CEO, BEAMA added: “Average results of trials in real homes achieved 9% reductions in electricity use, and, most importantly, these are maintained for at least three years. This puts paid to the sceptics who claim that IHDs will be looked at for a week and then put in a drawer never to be seen again. As well as being good news for householders it’s also good news for the environment. The carbon savings for electricity alone account for over 8% of the annual C02 reductions needed to hit the UK 2018-2022 carbon budget.”


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