September 2022 Smart Energy News

By Pilgrim - September 14, 2022

Smart Energy

  • To address the 9x rise in global gas prices, incoming UK PM Liz Truss has announced a new Energy Price Guarantee via a massive loan to energy retailers, capping rates at 34p/kWh for electricity & 10.3p/kWh for gas. A couple of interesting reactions:
    • “Imagine spending £130bn to freeze energy bills and then not doing anything new to improve the most inefficient homes in Europe” [Business Green]
    • "Government support for fossil fuel consumption and production across 51 major economies rebounded to an estimated $697 billion in 2021." [Robert Llewelyn quoting figures from OECD and IEA]
  • She’s also moving the green levy into general taxation. These numbers make a heat pump with a COP of 3 cheaper to run than a gas boiler. She's also rumoured to be considering how to decouple the price of renewables from the marginal price of gas, so that customers on a 100% renewable tariff will be much less affected by gas prices. Plus a goal of making the UK a net exporter of energy by 2040.
  • Can you decouple economic growth from CO2 emissions? We already have.
  • A meta-study has produced 4 principles for heat decarbonisation, which broadly are Insulation, Flexibility, Heat pumps and ToU tariffs.
  • As always, better insulation remains the #1 measure the UK needs. This new map from TaDo shows why (sample size 80,000 - hooray, I wish more companies would use meaningful sample sizes for their PR).
  • “Dynamic heating” is a term coined by TaDo CEO in his piece on optimising heat pumps for ToU tariffs.
  • Energiesprong - might we soon hear more of this great Dutch word, about retrofitting homes to zero-carbon in “one leap” - especially for solid-wall.
  • My favourite Sankey diagram of the month shows how - end-to-end - heat pumps are nearly 6x as efficient as green Hydrogen.
  • Heat pumps sales are up 72% in Poland (which still uses quite a bit of coal for house heating) with Italy a close second.
  • California’s grid close to blackout conditions due to heat.
  • Tesla’s ex head of storage has started Lunar Energy, a home battery which can manage other devices in your home which has raised $300m.
  • Solar panels saved the EU €29bn in energy imports this summer.
  • Geo’s CEO Steve Cunningham shared some interesting stats in a Times radio interview illuminating the thinking behind their new HEMS offering [no link, as content only available for 6 days, sadly]:
    • ~50% of UK homes now have Smart Meters. UK differs from other nations as meters are designed to deliver user benefits, not just grid benefits.
    • 60% of customers still use in-home displays after 3y, driving claimed 2-3% savings.
    • Save a further 5-7% by opting-in to half-hourly data and bill disaggregation.
    • Save a further 15% by linking to heating.
      • As an aside, from my experiences at AlertMe using IP acquired from WattBox in my own home, I am definitely a believer that smart heating can drive significant savings while also improving comfort, delivering a win-win
    • Then e.g. delaying washing-machine automatically with next-gen displays.
    • Could be part of a national energy rationing programme like in parts of US, by opting-in to peak demand reduction.
  • In an analysis last year the EU Commission estimated that the market for HEMS will grow by more than 50% by 2025 (p207) and for Smart Meters offers a set of “2nd-wave” (SMETS2) use-cases such as EV charging, HEMS, bill forecasting and load disaggregation (p214).


  • Interesting take on the importance of battery recycling from Tesla co-founder JB Straubel: “Today cobalt may travel 20k miles before being put in a ‘zero emissions’ battery pack”. Though of course there’s been huge progress in removing cobalt entirely e.g. in LFP batteries.
  • University of Warwick’s EV-elocity study claims that careful management can stop V2G from damaging the life of car batteries - and even extend their life.
  • Paua CEO Niall pointed-out that the amazing Supercharger reliability stat of 99.96% that I quoted last month does rely on Tesla defining uptime as a “site having at least 50% daily capacity functional.” 
  • Google Maps now provides routes to optimise range for your car type, including electric.


Until next month,


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