Smart homes can flatten peak demand

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Carbon reductions, energy bill savings and improved system resilience are all significant positive impacts from having smart energy technologies in the home, according to research.

On 3 July, the Solar Trade Association, together with Loughborough University and Advance Further Energy, published Smart Solar Homes: The Journey to Net Zero, outlining both the individual household benefits of installing smart energy technologies, along with the contribution they can make to the whole electricity system, when scaled-up across a portfolio of 4.4mn homes.

It found that when equipping that number of homes with solar, battery storage and intelligent controls to manage electricity use, they could eliminate evening peak demand on a typical winter’s day, providing 12GW of energy storage capacity. This would offer around 40GWh of system balancing dispatch. It would also reduce consumption at peak demand times by 97% annually, while by 2035, could see carbon emissions by 68% through self-consumption, peak shaving and charging batteries at times of surplus renewable generation.

Building on these findings, the report made a series of policy recommendations, including a call to improve the affordability of smart home technology by reducing the upfront cost. This would involve making financial measures – such as zero interest loans, reduced or zero-rated VAT and grants – available to consumers. It also advocated all new build developments being smart homes and for long-term commitments to decarbonisation and flexibility to be made through RIIO-2.

Loughborough University   STA