The UK government has today (18 January) awarded £16 million of funding across 12 projects dedicated to reducing electricity bills with cleaner and smarter energy.
The projects range from introducing solar panel subscription services to facilitating the creation of “green mortgages” for UK households.
For example, Sunsave will receive £1.9 million to test its Electric Roof Project, which plans to remove the barriers to the widespread installation of solar panels.
The project will offer customers the opportunity to pay a monthly fee for the monitoring and maintenance of solar panels, which will allow access to ‘smart tariffs’, instead of charging an upfront cost for installation.
E.ON’s ‘Energy as a Service’ has also received funding to the tune of £1 million, with the project aimed at installing low-carbon technologies, such as heat pumps, solar panels and battery storage, into at least 350 households, as well as offering a one-stop-shop for energy advice.
The list of projects goes on to include an £880,000 investment into Perenna for the development of a long-term, fixed-rate “green mortgage”, and a £795,000 boost to Chameleon Technology’s HTC-Up project, which provides domestic homeowners and landlords bespoke green loans and cashback rewards.
Another big winner was Scroll Finance Limited’s Glocers Project, which received £1.5 million of government funding to pilot a project that uses equity in a home to provide a loan that funds the upfront costs of installing energy saving measures.
It is important to note that the £20 million Green Home Finance Accelerator from which the £16 million is allocated is funded through the £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio and projects are due to operate until February 2025.
Lord Callanan, minister for energy efficiency and green finance, said: “When energy bills reached record highs, we stepped in to lessen the burden on hardworking families across the country. We are always looking to test progressive ways to make energy saving measures more accessible and affordable, allowing people to make their homes greener and warmer.”
Emma Harvey-Smith, programme director for the built environment at the Green Finance Institute, said: “Delivering a range of innovative and affordable financing solutions will help homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient, lowering bills and reducing emissions.
Developing and piloting new green finance mechanisms to ensure they successfully support as wide a range of customers as possible, and unlock barriers to retrofit, will enable more energy efficiency home upgrades at pace and scale.”
Previous savings schemes
Over the past year, there have been many efforts to include electricity bill savings as part of new green schemes, both from national groups and private corporations.
A key example of this can be seen in the results of a report published in January 2023 by energy specialists, Baringa. The report showcased Northern Ireland’s total annual savings for 2022 as £500 million, primarily the result of newfound reliance on wind power.
More specifically, Tuesday 8 March 2022 saw a total avoided cost of £38 million in just 24 hours, according to Baringa.
In October 2023, Octopus Energy introduced its ‘Octoplus’ scheme, which offers users a “dynamic rewards system” in the form of using smart meters to exchange energy usage for benefits and prizes.
Another key element of bill savings for UK households has been the introduction and popularisation of flexibility services for electricity.
National Grid ESO’s demand flexibility service (DFS) proved the potential of using smart technology to automatically alter electricity allocation during peak periods by shifting over 3.3GWh during winter 2022.
Also, the aforementioned Chameleon Technology partnered with Samsung on its ‘Flex and Save’ scheme in November 2023, with Samsung SmartThings new demand response service supporting its first run.
More than 77,500 of OVO Energy’s Power Move and Power Move Plus customers collectively earned £463,000 in December 2023 alone from the two DFS schemes.
According to the energy supplier, the highest earning individual for Power Move Plus saved £28.14, with the top 5% earning an average of £7.13.