Smart systems key to future of cheaper and cleaner energy supply. With news that utility bills are on the rise, experts say technology will revolutionise both consumer use and generation of power. Most industry experts think that future homes will consume less energy – setting aside the impact of electric cars – as appliances from fridges to boilers become ever more efficient. New buildings are also increasingly airtight, which the Building Research Establishment says has largely been driven by regulations. British Gas owner Centrica, the UK’s largest energy supplier, and Ovo, one of the biggest “challenger” firms, both told the Observer they expected domestic energy use to continue falling. Customers will not just consume energy, but generate it too, becoming “prosumers” – “a horrible word but a useful term,” says Tom Pakenham, head of electric vehicles at Ovo, that means “to generate your own energy, store it and use it in intelligent way”. For most people, this will mean solar panels generating electricity, which is not a new trend – more than 900,000 households already have solar, up from almost none a decade ago. The Solar Trade Association estimates 5,000-10,000 UK homes now have energy storage, fitted by companies including Tesla, E.ON and Nissan. Imperial College has said cheaper home batteries will be a game-changer for utilities.
Guardian 14th April 2018 read more »