SSEN’s SAVE project findings show significant reduction in carbon emissions and household energy costs

The final findings of a five-year long energy efficiency programme run by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) across 8,000 Solent homes have now been published.

Funded through Ofgem, SSEN’s Solent Achieving Value from Efficiency (SAVE), fused smart technologies with customer interaction in four different interventions across the Solent. The volunteer group supporting the project aimed to establish to what extent energy efficiency measures can be considered as a cost effective, predictable and sustainable tool for managing peak demand as an alternative to network reinforcement.

The project targeted domestic customers only and measures trialled included deploying technology (in the form of an LED bulb roll-out), offering price incentives and taking innovative approaches to customer engagement, which included building on techniques developed initially by the governments ‘nudge’ department. Findings from the now-published SAVE report show that this simple and cost-effective change alone could reduce the annual electricity consumption of UK households by 2.5 million MWh per year.

Charlie Edwards, SSEN’s SAVE Project Manager  said: “The project was based in the Solent region, as it was representative of much of the UK, in terms of demand, and focused on how it could improve the lives of more vulnerable customers while still reducing carbon emissions.

“By monitoring the impact of energy efficiency, education, monetary incentives and community engagement with those participating in the SAVE project, SSEN has been able to develop a model for investment that minimises electricity costs for customers while providing network solutions to maximise societal benefits.

Key findings from the SAVE project show that if the scheme was rolled out to all 3.8 million SSEN customers, the positive effect on the environment would be the equivalent of removing 28,000 cars from the UK’s roads.

Charlie added: “As well as the positive impacts this scheme could have on our environment, if it was rolled out across the UK, the cost benefits to the country would be considerable. To supply all of the country’s homes with LED bulbs could reduce peak electricity demand by the same amount as our current largest nuclear power station and is estimated to cost DNO’s just a fifth of the sum.”

Through the SAVE project and its findings SSEN has developed a Network Investment Tool, designed as a forward-looking tool, with a Distribution System Operator (DSO) in mind. This provides the means to assess and select a cost-efficient methodology for managing electricity distribution network constraints.

To find out more about SAVE, please go to www.save-project.co.uk and read the project findings in full here.