SUCCESS STORY: Smart energy meters slash CO2

Posted: 14 July 2007

A new device that monitors peoples' household energy use has helped people in Milton Keynes, England, to save up to £80 off their household electricity bills, and minimise the growing impact of climate change.

In a first for the housing sector,one of the UK's largest property groups installed 50 Electrisave smart meters at Broughton Atterbury in Milton Keynes, in a pilot scheme that began in January 2006.

Results so far from Broughton Atterbury show that the smart meters have helped residents to cut between 13 - 15 per cent off their electricity bills, while reducing their carbon dioxide emissions by 233kg per year. That equates to a saving of between £60 - £80 per household per year.

If all 229 households at Broughton had Electrisave meters installed then a saving of 53,348kg of carbon dioxide emissions would be made each year - enough to send one person ten times around the world by air.

Small screen

Using a small display screen, placed anywhere in a house the new simple devices show residents at any point in time how much electricity they are using and how much it is costing in pence per hour. It can also tell users how much CO2 they are emitting.

David Cowans, Chief Executive of the housing company, Places for People, said: "More action from suppliers is needed to improve energy efficiency amongst customers. With rising prices and concerns over the environment, it is imperative that people understand more about how they consume energy and how much it is costing them.

"By installing smart meters, Places for People customers will be able to get clearer information about their energy consumption. This will give them more control and choice in their consumption and by taking simple steps, such as not leaving appliances on standby; they will be able to save hundreds of pounds whilst helping protect the environment."

One Broughton resident Jodie East, who has had the meter fitted said "The Electrisave meter has enabled me to make an informed choice about how and when I use electricity. I was shocked to see how much simple things like turning on a kettle or leaving the lights on overnight actually costs. It has definitely made me think about how I can be greener, and help save myself money whilst protecting the environment."

Places for People was recently named as one of the best organisations at delivering regeneration, in a poll by Regenerate - the UK's leading regeneration magazine. The Group was the highest ranking property group in the list of 50 organisations, beating off a number of high-profile builders and developers, to come third behind Glasgow and Manchester City Councils.