Ministers have announced a new plan to remove barriers to smart and battery technology and allow homes and businesses to be more flexible around energy usage, saving up to £40bn between now and 2050.
Energy regulator Ofgem’s report Upgrading our energy system has set out how a smarter energy system and more efficient energy storage will help cut energy costs.
The report saysrolling out smart meters will make it easier for suppliers to offer lower tariffs or for smart appliances, controlled from mobile devices – allowing customers to use energy when it was cheapest or to pay for it by giving energy back to the grid when needed.
Battery technology has also been recognised as being a key factor in the development of smarter energy systems with falling costs of the technology enabling greater flexibility.
New businesses will also be able to help their customers cut, or increase, their energy use at certain times, helping to balance demand on electricity networks.
National Infrastructure Commission chairman Lord Adonis said: “Upgrading our energy systems is vital if we are to have clean, affordable and secure supply for the long-term and meet our targets for reducing carbon emissions.
“This plan is a clear step forward, and was one of the 12 key infrastructure decisions we said needed to be made as a matter of urgency. I’m particularly pleased that many of the 29 points listed today directly follow recommendations in our Smart Power report.
“Our study demonstrated the revolution our energy sector is going through, and the real benefits we can get from that in terms of greater efficiency, flexibility and value for money for customers. The measures announced today will lead to exciting innovations in the industry to help make that happen.”