Energy upgrade is a smart move for Derby

Published: 12 February 2020

Council House at night

Derby City Council and Smart Energy GB have joined forces in a first of its kind, city-wide initiative to encourage Derby residents to have a smart meter installed in their homes.

From now until the end of April, Derby-specific campaign activity will reach residents in the city to raise awareness of the benefits smart meters bring. The new technology, being rolled out to homes and microbusinesses across Great Britain, will help achieve the vital upgrade to our current energy infrastructure.

Climate change is one of the single biggest issues facing Britain today and in 2019, Derby City Council joined 274 other local authorities in declaring a climate emergency; acknowledging the need to act on the causes and impacts of climate change, now.

One year on, as part of its work to become carbon neutral, Derby City Council is encouraging more residents to get a smart meter installed to help create a cleaner, greener energy system.

Our existing energy system is outdated. It is unable to accurately map energy demand from homes and businesses and relies upon fossil fuels to generate power. Smart meters play a vital role in upgrading Britain’s energy infrastructure to a system that is well equipped to integrate green technologies and low carbon alternatives; addressing the climate emergency and contributing to Britain’s commitment to reaching net zero.

By building a smart energy system that can better predict what energy the country needs and when and where it’s required, energy waste on both a national and domestic scale can be significantly reduced.

One in three (36.8%) properties in Derby already have a smart meter but if every household had one, it would be equivalent to removing more than 2000 cars from the road. Alongside carbon savings, smart meters promote small changes in behaviour that help individuals to reduce their energy bills.*

A number of local organisations are supporting the Derby-wide initiative including Citizens Advice Mid Mercia, Derby Family Medical Centre and National Energy Action, and will be on hand to support consumers through the installation process.

Doriver Lilly, from Chaddesden, had no idea how much she was spending on gas and electricity until she got a smart meter installed in 2017. Doriver felt like she had no control or understanding of her family’s energy usage.

I used to have a prepayment analogue meter and found myself worrying about it all the time because if I forgot to top up, everything switched off. I also found constantly going to the shop to top up quite embarrassing as it was clear I did not understand how much energy we were using day-to-day.

I got a smart meter installed and fell in love with it straight away! I couldn’t believe I managed without it before. Now, I clearly understand how much energy I am using with each appliance and have much better control of my bills. I genuinely love my smart meter and how it has improved my billing experience. I can top up from home, track my usage daily and know where to cut down to avoid energy waste. Everyone should have one; if not for personal benefits, for the wider environmental benefits they bring.

Robert Cheesewright, Director of Corporate Affairs at Smart Energy GB said:

The smart meter rollout is building a more sustainable future for Britain and saving bill payers money on their gas and electricity at the same time. As we move away from old analogue meters to smart meters, our national energy system is upgraded; allowing the nation to better manage energy use, transition to mass uptake of electric vehicles and inevitably, build a greener economy for all. Everyone can do their bit to help tackle climate change by taking a simple step to request a smart meter at no extra cost from their energy supplier.

Councillor Matthew Holmes, Derby City Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transportation said:

We have partnered with Smart Energy GB to ensure more people in Derby have the opportunity to get a smart meter installed. Getting a smart meter can help individuals take control of their energy use and reduce energy waste whilst saving money and time in the process.

Alongside support from local partners, an increased number of installation engineers will be available and on hand to install smart meters across the city over the next two months. Residents who want to find out more can go to smartenergygb.org or contact their energy supplier.

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