Skip To Content

Your browser is out of date, please upgrade it.

UK cities prepare for an energy smart future

New report analyses future energy demands in UK cities

The changing future energy demands of eleven major British cities are revealed in a new report published today by Smart Energy GB, the voice of the smart meter rollout. 

This is the first time that predictions about future increases in energy demand in the UK have been analysed and published on a city level. 

Powering future cities, carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, shows that this growing demand will primarily be driven by urban population growth, economic growth and a predicted surge in use of new technology, including electric vehicles. Many cities are already making smart changes to prepare for the future. 

Domestic electricity use will see the biggest increase in demand, with an increase of over 30 per cent in Bristol, Cardiff and London. 

The need to use more renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, to meet this demand also brings challenges; as peaks and troughs in supply of electricity, caused by changes in the weather, need to be managed. 

The report highlights some of the great strides our cities are already making to meet demand, using smarter technology. 


  • In Bristol the Smart Energy City Collaboration has mapped out the steps needed to leverage smart energy data to curb energy waste and cut demand, enhance the value of local
    renewable energy generation, and target better support to people in fuel poverty.
  • In Nottingham a ground breaking solar battery storage project is preparing for launch.
  • In London the Energy Efficiency Fund is supporting programmes to help Londoners make energy saving improvements to buildings across the city.

Smart meters will be installed in every home in Great Britain by 2020. They will connect with and send data to energy suppliers and will help cities better manage energy demand. 

Sacha Deshmukh, Chief Executive of Smart Energy GB said: 

“This report looks at the challenges and opportunities ahead for our cities as energy demands change. It provides, for the first time, a detailed, city-level picture of future energy needs.

“Smart meters are an essential step to a smarter future. Many cities have already started to use smart technology to create cleaner, greener environments. With smart meters installed across the country there are great opportunities for further innovation.”

The table below outlines the forecasted increase in domestic electricity and gas demand between 2015 and 2035 across the 11 major UK cities analysed. 

Powering future cities report table


The report was launched at Smarter Britain: Powering future cities, an event organised by Smart Energy GB. The event featured some of the most prominent figures in future cities, including Sir John Armitt, President of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a member of the National Infrastructure Commission. 

Sir John said: “Our energy sector is at the start of a revolution. With two thirds of our fossil fuel power stations expected to be decommissioned over the next 15 years, other energy sources are coming to the fore, as we seek new ways to power our energy network in the most efficient way possible. 

“This report underscores the need for infrastructure investment that ensures our cities and communities are able to meet energy demands in the future. Smart power is central to this; it could give consumers significant savings by 2030, help the UK meet its 2050 carbon targets, and secure the UK’s energy supply for generations.”




Notes to editors


About Powering future cities report

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) produced forecasts of energy demand in 11 British cities. To do this, Cebr examined DECC estimates of existing energy demand at a sub-national level. Future residential demand for electricity and gas was then forecast using Office for National Statistics projections of population growth in the 11 cities, as well as DECC projections of future trends in energy efficiency at a national level. Cebr’s forecasts of city level economic output were used to produce projections of commercial energy demand. 

Download the Powering Future Cities report.

About Smart Energy GB

Smart Energy GB is the voice of the smart meter rollout. It’s our task to help everyone in Great Britain understand smart meters, the national rollout and how to use their new meters to get their gas and electricity under control. Our national campaign has already begun and will reach all households and microbusinesses in England, Scotland and Wales.

About smart meters and the rollout

Smart meters will replace the traditional meters we currently have in our homes. They will provide consumers with accurate bills, near real time information on energy usage in pounds and pence, and greater control over their gas and electricity. The smart meter rollout is an essential technology upgrade, unprecedented in its scale, to improve Great Britain’s energy infrastructure. Between now and 2020, everyone across England, Scotland and Wales will be offered a smart meter by their energy supplier at no extra cost. More than 3.5 million smart meters have already been installed. To find out how you can get a smart meter from your energy supplier, pick up a leaflet from your local Post Office branch or this page.

About the Centre for Economics and Business Research

Centre for Economics and Business Research is an independent consultancy with a reputation for sound business advice based on thorough and insightful research. Since 1992, Cebr has been at the forefront of business and public interest research. It provides analysis, forecasts and strategic advice to major UK and multinational companies, financial institutions, government departments and agencies and trade bodies. For further information about Cebr please visit

Smart Energy GB media contacts

For more information including interview requests, case studies of smart meter users, infographics, photography and video content please contact the Smart Energy GB media team:

Tracey Yong: [email protected], 07717 896 701

Rose Beynon:  [email protected], 07884 666 127