Press release

Great Britain’s smart grid to revolutionise energy sector

A smart grid will help minimise people’s bills, create jobs and fuel growth.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The Smart Grid Forum’s Vision and Routemap sets out how smart technologies will deliver cost-saving efficiencies, give consumers greater control over their energy use, support jobs and growth, increase energy security and enable integration of low carbon technologies.

The Smart Grid Forum has previously shown how combining smart grid and conventional technologies have the potential to deliver up to £12 billion savings by 2050.

Other studies have found that smart grids could benefit customers including through reduced costs and deliver economic benefits such as creating 9,000 jobs and £5 billion in exports.

The UK has made significant progress to date in developing its smart grid and is recognised as a European leader for investment in smart grid research and demonstration.

Energy Minister Michael Fallon said:

“The development of a smart grid offers exciting opportunities for the UK. Our electricity market reforms will provide a stable and attractive environment for investors in low-carbon generation and support growth. It is therefore vital that we modernise our infrastructure to ensure it supports deployment and meets customer needs. The smart grid will also create thousands of jobs, support economic growth and help build a Greater Britain.”

Hannah Nixon, Senior Partner at Ofgem said:

“Promoting security of supply and sustainability for future generations is key to Ofgem’s work to protect consumers. Smart grids will take us a step further towards an affordable, low carbon energy system and has the potential to reduce costs for consumers. The UK is leading the way in Europe as Ofgem is encouraging network companies to innovate and develop smarter networks. We recognise that the transition to a smarter grid will bring opportunities and challenges to all involved and look forward to continue working with others across the energy sector for a smarter future.”

The Vision and Routemap calls for Great Britain to build on its initial success by ensuring regulatory and commercial frameworks support the deployment of smart technologies and new commercial practices, and provide strong leadership in rolling out successful smart grid pilots into business as usual services.

The smart grid is expected to enhance energy security and integration of low carbon technologies through greater monitoring and control of the network. This will enable network companies to anticipate and identify problems more quickly and manage supply and demand at a local level.

Notes to editors

  1. A copy of the Vision and Routemap.

  2. A smart grid is a modernised electricity grid that uses information and communications technology to monitor and actively control generation and demand in near real-time, which provides a more reliable and cost effective system for transporting electricity from generators to homes, business and industry.

  3. The UK is a European leader for investment in smart grid research. This success has been delivered through a range of initiatives, including the £500m Low Carbon Network Fund, which provides funding for network company innovation projects designed to test and trial new smart grid technologies and solutions.

  4. The Smart Grid Forum was created by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the industry regulator, Ofgem. The Forum is made up of a mix of representatives from electricity network companies, consumer groups, energy suppliers and wider industry. It considers the full range of technical, commercial and regulatory issues associated with developing smart grids in order to support the UK’s transition to a secure, safe, low carbon, affordable energy system.

  5. The roll out of smart meters are a key enabler of a smart grid, providing information to help improve network management as well as facilitating demand shifting and supporting energy generation from many small energy sources (distributed energy generation) and renewable sources.

  6. Recent analysis commissioned by SmartGrid GB suggests an estimated potential £13 billion of Gross Value Added, and £5 billion of potential exports to 2050; and 8,000 to 9,000 jobs to 2030 associated with smart grids.

Published 27 February 2014