Funding for tech to help schools control energy costs

A new £8.8 million fund from the government will go towards helping to develop and evaluate technologies that will help schools, colleges and SMEs take control of their energy use through the use of smart meters.

The innovative smart technologies of an upgraded energy grid, like electronic household devices and thermostats you can control from a mobile phone, can help the country save up to £40 billion on energy costs over decades to come and smart meters will be central to this revolution.

The UK based competition winners, ranging from small energy management companies to tech giants Samsung and Toshiba, have designed smart information systems that give schools and businesses real-time, tailored data on their energy use, helping them save money by being more efficient.

The benefits range from highlighting spikes in energy use in real-time and recommending ways to cut use in the long-term, to identifying faulty equipment or inefficient ways of working.

There is currently a lack of products specifically aimed at small and medium-sized businesses to help them to use their smart meters to take control of their energy consumption. Competition winners have been granted funds to develop such products.

Minister for Energy and Clean Growth Claire Perry said: “The scale of the ambition displayed by the winning projects demonstrates that the UK is ready to lead the world when it comes to helping smaller businesses understand their energy use through smart systems.

“Energy costs for businesses can be one of the hardest things to understand and control, but these projects can change that, as well as help educate the next generation in our schools on the importance of controlling our energy consumption.

“Smart meters are an opportunity for us to rewrite the rules on how we engage with the energy market and these winners will ensure that the benefits can be felt by businesses and schools as well as homes.”

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