Advanced metering key for SMEs to cut carbon emissions

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A Carbon Trust trial has identified the potential to save 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 and save UK small businesses £300 million per year

New research from the Carbon Trust has identified that the use of advanced metering by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) could save 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year – equivalent to the entire annual carbon footprint of Bristol – and also provide a net financial benefit to the UK economy. This research was carried out as part of a three year Carbon Trust field trial into the use of advanced metering in SMEs. The aim of the trial was to demonstrate the potential benefits of the technology and understand whether there was a case for encouraging the widespread adoption of advanced metering by SMEs. Based on the findings from the trial, the Carbon Trust is calling for new policy measures to support the installation of advanced meters in all small and medium sized businesses across the UK. In the trial, advanced meters were installed at over 580 sites across the UK. Results show that by switching to advanced metering, on average SMEs can identify potential carbon savings of over 12% and successfully achieve savings of over 5%. On average, the companies who took part in the trial saved over £1,000 a year on their energy bills. Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, says: “Our trial has shown that advanced meters can help businesses save money and also deliver significant carbon savings for the UK. To harness this potential there needs to be a structured and sustainable roll out of this important technology to help the UK meet its commitment to cut carbon emissions by 60% by 2050. Widespread use of advanced metering will also create new business opportunities for energy suppliers and metering service providers.” Ian Pearson, environment and climate change minister, says: “Boosting energy efficiency makes good financial and economic sense for businesses. It also helps cut costs and carbon emissions, as this research by the Carbon Trust shows. We need to overcome the barriers faced by companies that are trying to increase their energy efficiency.” Advanced meters enable businesses to identify energy, cost and carbon savings by providing detailed information about the way they use their energy. Although this technology is well established in larger companies it is not widely used by small businesses, which currently use over 2.7 million traditional energy meters. The energy consumption through these meters is worth around £6.5 billion per year and leads to emissions of over 50 million tonnes of CO2 per year.