Plans to cut electricity demand in Britain


London, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — December 6, 2012 – Britain’s government has set out plans to reduce both domestic and non-domestic electricity demand across the nation,beyond that expected from activities already in place, by a range of measures.

In a new consultation, the potential for demand reduction is considered in both domestic and non-domestic buildings and products and appliances, as well as in industrial processes.

In the domestic building sector the main potential is seen to be in incentivizing behavior change measures. Evidence from the U.S. suggests that innovative uses of real time energy consumption data combined with targeted recommendations can encourage households to reduce their electricity consumption.

In the non-domestic building sector there appears to be significant potential to drive more electricity savings through measures such as high efficiency lighting, lighting controls and HVAC controls.

For domestic products minimum standards should capture much of the remaining potential for electricity demand reduction, by continuing to remove the least efficient products from the market. For non-domestic products businesses need more information to be driven to purchase at the most efficient end of appliances and electronics.

Further energy efficiency in industrial processes may also be driven by incentives.

“Cutting the amount of electricity we use not only saves money on bills and reduces the need for new generation capacity, it makes good business sense too,” Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker.“We have schemes already in place but there are more avenues to be explored and that’s what these ambitious proposals are designed to do.”

Taking the current and planned schemes into account, analysis undertaken with the support of McKinsey has identified around 92TWh of potential electricity savings in 2030, equivalent to around 26 percent of total demand.

Schemes already in place include the rollout of smart meters, the Green Deal and new domestic Energy Company Obligation, whichtogether are expected to reduce electricity consumption by nearly 6.5TWh in 2030.

Just a 10 percent reduction in electricity demand could produce savings of around £4 billion in 2030, which should more than compensate for the cost of making efficiency investments upfront. It would also cut 4.5 Mt of carbon, and save an amount of electricity comparable to that generated by five power stations in a year.

The consultation is open to January 31, 2013, after which final details on the way forward will be set out.