The domestic dashboard - Cover story

1 min read

Smart metering is set to hand ultimate control of energy consumption to the homeowner. By Mike Richardson.

It’s impossible to imagine driving a car without a dashboard – we’d soon run out of fuel. Yet this is exactly what we’re doing with the energy in our homes; we’re driving our houses with no means of control. Just as car drivers learn about mpg, homeowners need to understand kW/h. However, the latest innovations in smart metering are set to not only help us save money on fuel bills, but save the planet too! The energy used in our homes and office buildings accounts for a considerable amount of carbon emissions, with a significant portion coming from the energy we use to heat, light and run them. Add to this the increasing market trend for home entertainment equipment and our houses are almost glowing with energy! According to Government research, domestic carbon emissions represent more than 25% of the UK’s carbon output. In the consultation ‘Building a Greener Future’, the Department for Communities and Local Government proposed an ambitious target to achieve zero carbon new homes by 2016, as a significant contribution to the goal of reducing overall carbon emissions by 60% by 2050. In an approach to empower the market into innovating and adapting low carbon technologies, the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is already planning activities in this area through its ‘Low Impact Buildings Innovation Platform’ by investing £30million in collaborative R&D projects over the next three years.