On-Demand Energy will reinvent the Energy Market
On-demand energy will reinvent the gas and electricity market by making it more customer-focused and reducing energy bills in the process, a new report claims.
The Smart Lives study, commissioned by the Energy Saving Trust in partnership with Goldsmiths at the University of London, considers smart technologies and attitudes to smart energy. According to the study, the best way to manage energy is by taking a model like Uber or Airbnb – collaborative services that allow costs to be shared equally and altered according to demand.
Home automation will drive down gas and electricity costs
The study argues for collective consumption to bring about a customer-centric energy market with lower costs.
"By employing automation and artificial intelligence in the home it's possible to find an energy consumption sweet spot that will bring costs and consumption down," says Dr Chris Brauer, Smart Lives research director at Goldsmiths.
The research revealed that homeowners are rushing to install smart energy technologies, such as smart meters and thermostats, without really understanding how these technologies can help them on a day-to-day level.
The participants suggested a home operating system that takes advantage of lower tariffs at certain times of the day, like when demand is lower, would be beneficial and help them reduce their gas and electricity bills.
Smart technology will threaten the big suppliers
According to Dr Brauer, ‘digitisation’ will cause ‘significant disruption’ in the market over the next five years, owing largely to the rollout of smart meters. This short expected timescale also calls into question large suppliers’ ability to adapt in time.
Dr Brauer also argues for supportive regulation to help automated energy management systems to create real energy savings:
“People are beginning to realise it’s not enough just to put start technologies in the home and start saving energy. You can’t just ask consumers to start changing their behaviour and expect to see widespread savings in energy. It has to work all through the market.”
Duncan McCombie, Energy Saving Trust’s Director of Operations, expects large suppliers to acquire data and analytics specialists to keep up with their smaller rivals. Smaller independent gas and electricity suppliers like First Utility already use data to help you lower your energy bills.
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