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West Lothian recognised as the top 'Area for a Beautiful Future' in Great Britain

  • Smart Energy GB has launched ‘Areas for a Beautiful Future’ a new index celebrating the communities across Great Britain taking action to be more sustainable
  • 75 per cent of Brits still think they could do more to be energy efficient and sustainable at home
  • Helen Skelton, together with Smart Energy GB, is encouraging everyone to get a smart meter

Today sees the launch of ‘Areas for a Beautiful Future’, the new index from Smart Energy GB celebrating the communities across Great Britain creating a more sustainable future.

With public and political attention on climate change at an all-time high, the index recognises the families and communities who are taking simple, positive steps at home, that together will add up to create a cleaner, greener, smarter future for everyone.

West Lothian came out top overall, with residents recycling 61% of waste and 43% of households having a smart meter installed.

Across Great Britain, the top ‘Areas for a Beautiful Future’ have been revealed as: 






West Lothian

Cheshire West and Chester




East Riding of Yorkshire

Merthyr Tydfil







Kingston upon Hull, City of



East Ayrshire


Rhondda Cynon Taf




Blaenau Gwent


South Ayrshire




North Ayrshire

East Devon

Vale of Glamorgan


East Lothian


Neath Port Talbot






These are the areas leading the way across Great Britain, based on an index of two simple and cost-free actions people are doing to positively benefit the environment – getting a smart meter installed and recycling. 

Getting a smart meter is a small step everyone can take towards a more sustainable world. Smart meters are the building blocks of a reliable, clean and affordable energy system for the future.                           

Three quarters (75 per cent) of Brits still think they could do more to be more sustainable and energy efficient in the home, with a third (33 per cent) being worried about their children or grandchildren’s futures.

The poll of 2,000 Brits also revealed why we’re not being more sustainable – a fifth (20 per cent) think it costs too much and over a quarter (26 per cent) believe it’s too much effort. Plus, one in 10 feel they won’t make an impact as one individual.


The ‘Areas for a Beautiful Future’ index aims to challenge these beliefs, outlining the small, often cost-free steps, such as getting a smart meter, everyone can take towards a cleaner, greener, smarter Britain. Two fifths (39%) of those polled were not aware that filling up the fridge (even if it’s with bottles of tap water) is more energy efficient – therefore being more sustainable – a simple, cost free step which can be taken in the home.


The research also revealed:

  • Almost one quarter (23 per cent) admitted they are aware of the environmental benefits of taking shorter showers, but don’t make the effort to do so
  • Almost half (49 per cent) buy bottles of water in plastic bottles, and similarly almost a half (45 per cent) still boil more water in the kettle than needed
  • Almost a third (32 per cent) will leave lights on in empty rooms  
  • Over a third (37 per cent) use the car instead of walking and/or taking public transport
  • 50 per cent of those polled admitted to leaving appliances on standby
  • Just 15 per cent encourage friends and family to be more sustainable on a regular basis, which is surprising when four in 10 (40 per cent) feel guilty when they know they could have done more to be more energy efficient

Presenter Helen Skelton has teamed-up with Smart Energy GB to celebrate the leading communities recognised as ‘Areas for a Beautiful Future’. Together with Smart Energy GB, she is encouraging everyone to do their bit for the environment and get a smart meter installed. 


Helen commented: “Small actions really do add up to make a difference. By getting a smart meter you’re taking a small step towards a more sustainable future for everyone. It doesn’t cost you anything and is so easy to do, just search: ‘I want a smart meter’ or call 0300 131 8000.”

Robert Cheesewright, Director of Corporate Affairs for Smart Energy GB said: “It’s great to see that communities, individuals and families up and down Great Britain are taking simple, small steps towards a greener tomorrow. Smart meters can’t solve climate change on their own, but they are the building blocks of a reliable, clean and affordable energy system for the future. We’d like to congratulate all of those identified by our top 30 Index, especially the residents of West Lothian.”


  • Smart Energy GB has launched ‘Areas for a Beautiful Future’ to celebrate the communities across Great Britain creating a more sustainable future.
  • Helen Skelton together with Smart Energy GB, is encouraging everyone to get a smart meter.
  • By getting a smart meter, you’re taking a small step towards a more sustainable future for everyone.
  • Search: ‘I want a smart meter’ or call 0300 131 8000.
  • West Lothian has been recognised as an ‘Area for a Beautiful Future’ in an index celebrating the steps that communities are taking towards a cleaner, greener, smarter future.
  • Smart meters are the building blocks of a reliable, clean and affordable energy system for the future.

Notes to Editors

*Survey conducted by One Poll, total sample size 2,000 Fieldwork undertaken in April 2019. 

For more media enquiries including interview requests, case studies of smart meter users, photography and additional quotes please contact the Smart Energy GB media team: 

Email: [email protected]

Regional visits

There will be regional visits and presentations in the top area in each country that the ‘Areas for a Beautiful Future’ Index covers. For details contact the Smart Energy GB media team on the details above.

About Smart Energy GB  

Smart Energy GB is the campaign for a smarter Britain. It’s our task to help everyone in Great Britain understand smart meters, the national rollout and how to use their new meters to be cleaner and greener with their energy use. Our national campaign is reaching households and microbusinesses in England, Scotland and Wales. 

About smart meters and the rollout  

Smart meters replace the traditional meters we currently have in our homes. They enable accurate bills, near real time information on energy use in pounds and pence, and greater control over the way we buy and use energy. The smart meter rollout is an essential technology upgrade, unprecedented in its scale, to improve Great Britain’s energy infrastructure.

There are already almost 14 million smart meters installed in homes and microbusinesses across Great Britain. Every household in England, Scotland and Wales can receive one at no extra cost by simply searching I want a smart meter or call 0300 131 8000.  

Areas for a Beautiful Future Index


To create the index each local authority was ranked on its recycling rate and the proportion of households with a smart meter. Both elements were given equal weighting and the two rankings were averaged to give one overall ranking.

Data origins

Household numbers

Data for the number of households for each local authority was taken from two ONS documents.  All household numbers apart from those of the Isle of Scilly was taken from the “Estimated numbers of households in England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, 2004 to 2016”. 2016 figures were used. The Isle of Scilly household numbers were taken from table four of “Household projections in England: 2016-based”. Again, the figure for 2016 was used.

Smart Meter Installs

Electralink data from Smart Energy GB was used to calculate the total number of smart meter installs per local authority. Electralink data shows smart electricity meters only. This is a good measure of the number of households with smart meters, since every household has either an electricity meter only, or a gas and electricity meter. 

Recycling statistics

  • Scotland – 2017 Sepa stats – percentage of recycled waste from Table One (column 3)
  • Wales – Stats Wales - 2017/18 stats percentage of waste reused/recycled 
  • England – From 2017/18 stats published by Lets Recycle based on stats from WasteDataFlow (which are used by Defra)

Notes from Defra: From 2011-12 onwards, 7 local authorities started reporting as Dorset Waste Partnership. These are Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, West Dorset, Purbeck, North Dorset and East Dorset District Councils, Christchurch Borough Council, and Dorset County Council.

From 2015/16 onwards Chiltern District Council jointly reports their waste data with Wycombe District Council.

From 2016/17 onwards, Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire Councils jointly report their waste.

From 2017/18 6 local authorities started reporting as Somerset Waste Partnership. These are Somerset County Council, Mendip, Sedgemoor, South Somerset, Taunton Deane and West Somerset.