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Without smart meters, meeting our climate change targets will be slower, harder and more expensive

New report finds that smart meters will contribute to a 25 per cent CO2 saving in homes by 2035

Without smart meters, reducing our carbon emissions and meeting the UK’s climate change targets will be higher cost, less supportive of renewable generation and less well co-ordinated, according to new research published today.

Smart meters are an integral part of a flexible, decentralised and decarbonised energy system, which is central to Britain reducing its CO2 emissions and reliance on unsustainable energy sources.

As the central component of a digitalised smarter energy system, smart metering will facilitate better integration of renewable power and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, through efficiently managing energy supply and demand by using near-real time energy data.

The research by Delta-ee, the specialist energy research and consulting company, on behalf of Smart Energy GB, shows how:

  • In homes, smart meters will contribute to a 25 per cent CO2 saving by 2035 (from 2015 levels)*
  • In transport, smart meters will be a critical enabler for high levels of electrification delivering a 54 per cent CO2 reduction by 2035 (from 2015 levels)**
  • In electricity generation, smart meters will be an essential building block for a 77 per cent CO2 reduction by 2035 (from 2015 levels)***
  • Without smart meters and the national rollout, carbon reductions will be higher cost, less reliant on renewable generation, and less well co-ordinated - this will result in slower progress towards saving CO2, greater reliance on higher risk CO2 reduction strategies/technologies, and ultimately a higher risk of not achieving mitigation targets

Energy use in homes currently accounts for 14 per cent of UK greenhouse gas emissions. With future demands for electricity only set to increase through the electrification of transport and heat, it has never been more important to upgrade Britain’s energy system to one that is more sustainable and less reliant on non-renewable fuel sources. Smart meters are a vital step towards this change and a means to creating a decarbonised system fit for the 21st century.

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

“We have never been more aware of our impact on the planet. It’s time we all contribute towards making the simple upgrade to a smart meter that has the potential to save millions of tonnes of carbon from being released into the atmosphere.

“This report shows that smart meters are a key part of a potential 25 per cent carbon saving, helping us to achieve our environmental targets and take an important step towards achieving a greener and more sustainable Britain.”

Dr Andrew Turton, Principal Analyst at Delta-ee, said: 

"To decarbonise the energy system and meet our climate change targets, we need much more flexibility to allow for the integration of decentralised low carbon technologies.

"This system needs customers to use energy at the times when low carbon supply is available. This in turn, requires energy demands to be accurately measured in near real time.

"Smart meters are an essential building block in achieving these aims, and will provide the necessary consumption data to sooner reach a low carbon system."

Search ‘I want a smart meter’ or call 0300 131 8000 to book your installation and join the millions of Brits who are already becoming cleaner and greener with their energy use.


Notes to editors

The report is available to download here.

*In homes, smart meters will contribute to a 25 per cent CO2 saving by 2035 (from 2015 levels) by helping households reduce their energy demands, enabling dynamic pricing tariffs to support low carbon electric heating, promoting improved measurement of energy efficiency performance to drive increasing standards and supporting new business models for buying low carbon heating.

**In transport, smart meters will enable high levels of electrification delivering 54 per cent CO2 reduction by 2035 (from 2015 levels) and much needed reduction in air pollution in major cities by incentivising electric cars to be charged at off peak times and therefore reducing additional strain on the electricity grid.

***In electricity generation, smart meters are vital for a smart, flexible network which allows for far greater renewable generation and will contribute to a 77 per cent CO2 reduction by 2035 (from 2015 levels)

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 Delta-ee

Delta-ee ( is a research and consulting company helping companies navigate the change from ‘old energy’ to ‘new energy’. Headquartered in Edinburgh and with offices in England and continental Europe, our clients comprise many of Europe’s leading utilities; heating appliance manufacturers; controls companies; policy makers; and investors. Delta-ee provides a range of subscription research services, consultancy and specialist Summits.

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.

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:

[email protected]; 0203 019 1055 / 07921 852 531