Here’s how tech will help you save money on energy bills
Big changes are on the way in the world of household energy, ones that can save you money.
New technologies are set to radically alter the way most of us pay and consume electricity.
A major shake up of the way electricity is produced, consumed and, very importantly, stored, is on the way.
This will potentially allow millions of us to make big savings by generating power in our own homes and then use it to reduce what we pay for power.
Effectively selling it back to the National Grid.
One estimate suggests this could lead to savings for homes and business of as much as £40 billion.
Of course, the best way to save on your energy is still to compare cheap deals online.
How will all this work?
The Smart Systems and Flexibility plan is aimed at cutting bills for the industry that can then be passed on to consumers, simply by cutting out waste and making the industry far more efficient.
It’s designed to get all of us to only pay for the power we use when we use it. It’s based on supply and demand – you pay less when demand is lower.
Right now, almost all of us, pay a flat rate tariff that doesn’t take into account supply and demand at all.
But the new generation of smart meter will employ smart tariffs that will change the tariff you pay according to when you use power.
What’s the plan?
The government plans to:
* Make sure all homes are offered smart meters by the end of 2020. These will give customers more control over the energy they use and the ability to monitor use – and so spending.
* More tariffs involving different charges for different times of supply and demand will be much more widely available, a little like the old-fashioned storage heaters used to work.
These will vary tariffs according to time of use and demand.
* Introduce technology that means electricity-consuming appliances automatically vary power usage to take advantage of cheaper usage times. These are so-called smart white goods.
Big improvement in battery technology that will allow almost one million homes with solar panels to take advantage of far better storage.
This means power can either be used at home or sold back to power companies more efficiently.
At the moment batteries are both expensive and not especially efficient.
But lithium ion battery technology is improving rapidly, driven by the huge investments now going into electric car tech.
That means these batteries will become far more efficient and a lot cheaper.
One report suggests the cost will fall by 30% over the next three years.
All this is great news for consumers.