New capability launched

geo launches new capability to cut energy consumption and bills by 20% for millions of homes

Britain’s energy suppliers are being urged to rapidly roll-out simple to use Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) to every household, to help consumers cut bills, in response to the spiralling energy crisis.

Cambridge-based smart energy specialist geo (Green Energy Options) has developed a next generation HEMS that can be installed as an integral part of the GB smart meter rollout. HEMS, which automate energy savings, have historically been complex, stand-alone systems that are expensive to buy and install, putting them out of reach of most households. They can now be deployed by energy suppliers for a similar cost to, and in place of, the in-home energy displays provided by the GB smart meter rollout. geo expects to deliver half a million of these new units in this year alone.

Independent research and industry data shows that HEMS have the potential to save an average of 20 per cent of household energy bills, reduce gas consumption and cut carbon emissions. In April, when the energy price cap rises to £1,971, this would save consumers around £400 per year. With average bills predicted to rise to almost £3,000 per year ahead of next winter, the savings per average home could rise to around £600 per year by October.

If a HEMS capability like geo’s were to be installed in the 13 million British homes yet to have a smart meter fitted, it would save more than £15 billion on consumer energy bills and more than 11 million tons of emitted CO2 over the next five years. These figures would more than double if energy suppliers retrofit homes that already have a SMETS1 or SMETS2 smart meter, as a simple and cost-effective upgrade.

HEMS work by automating energy savings across the various systems and appliances in a home that consume energy. Unlike the previous generation of HEMS, geo’s solution leverages the capabilities of the home’s smart meters, combined with the latest in ‘Internet of Things’ technology to drive up capability and drive down cost, making rapid deployment at scale to the majority of GB households both realistic and achievable. This will help alleviate fuel poverty, reduce household emissions and enable Britain to make the best possible use of its renewable energy resources.

geo’s HEMS is designed to be seamless and completely unobtrusive, linking to the home’s smart meter, understanding when the home can use energy more efficiently and when it can avoid using more expensive energy; then coordinating across the devices in the home to make savings without the consumer needing to change their behaviour. While the smart meter roll-out has always had this as a goal, it’s only now that the low-cost, high capability technology to realise its full potential for every home is available.

geo’s CEO Steve Cunningham said:

“Britain faces the unenviable task of tackling two once in a generation crises at once; historically high energy prices and climate change. New low-cost home energy management systems can be a game changer, reducing consumers’ energy spend and carbon emissions simultaneously and without the need for expensive new infrastructure.

“geo is calling on energy suppliers to commit to give every household a HEMS so consumers are empowered to cut their bills by on average £400 per year 1. It can’t be right that some consumers are having to choose between heating and eating, when there is a cost-effective way for the industry to reduce household energy costs.”

geo’s HEMS model includes:

An easy-to-use energy display, which does the job of the in-home display provided as part of the GB smart meter rollout, as well as acting as the core of geo’s HEMS. The display shows how much energy the house is using, and uniquely, how that usage is broken down across key categories such as heating, lighting, washing, cooking and entertainment, which together can help consumers to save 8 – 15% on their household energy bills. 234

A smart thermostat which lets your boiler heat your house much more effectively (without any changes to the system at all), saving 10 – 12% on your heating bill just by using less gas(5) and which can also automatically turn down the heating when the house is empty, saving a further 5% for the average home.

‘Smart’ operation of EV charging and white goods (including existing, non-smart devices), allowing them to run when electricity is cheapest, which can save 10p per kWh or more and reduce demand on fossil fuel powered generation 5.

1 20% of average energy bill post April 2022 energy price cap increase
2 Assessing the Use and Value of Energy Monitors in Great Britain, April 2014
3 Energieverbruiks_managers in Nederland, April 2021
4 Imperial College study, 2015, publicly available data from US deployments of energy use disaggregation by Bidgely, Opower
5 BEAMA The power at our finger tips – A manifesto for best practice heating controls in UK Homes October 2021
6 Requires a two-rate/multi-rate energy tariff or suitable demand response rebate scheme