Carbon Trust experts part of new UK government-funded consortium to develop smart tariff comparison tool for consumers

Checking energy consumption

The project consortium featuring experts from the Carbon Trust has been selected by UK government to undertake the Smarter Tariff - Smarter Comparison  project, which will support the development of a prototype comparison tool to enable consumers to find the most cost-effective tariff options to suit their needs. This will not only incentivise tariff innovation, but accelerate the adoption of low carbon technologies by further illustrating the benefits of adopting electric vehicles, heat pumps, and smart meters.

The prototype design will be based on extensive research with consumers and energy sector stakeholders. The tool will be open source which means that energy suppliers, consumer websites and low carbon technology providers can feature the comparison tool at no cost to help consumers make the best tariff and technology choices to suit their lifestyle and budget.

As part of the research the Carbon Trust will be engaging with domestic energy suppliers and low carbon technology developers to understand how the market views the emergence of smart tariffs, and gather information to help feed into the tool’s design. 

The £400,000 Smarter Tariff - Smarter Comparison project is funded through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Energy Innovation Programme and will conclude in March 2021, with findings to be published at the end of the project. 

The Carbon Trust brings systems and energy sector expertise to the project and is joined by Hildebrand Technology, davies+mckerr, Love Experience, Dr Richard Carmichael of Imperial Consultants, and consortium lead, Vital Energi.

Smart tariffs are an integral part of achieving the UK’s 2050 net zero target and achieving a resilient and fit for purpose energy system. Smart tariffs are usually designed to create a ‘demand-side response’ from consumers – using price variation to encourage energy use when the grid is generating excess energy, and likewise discouraging energy use during peak demand periods. This both improves system integration of variable renewables, and reduces the amount of generation and network capacity required during peak times, leading to overall savings to consumers.

The tool is also expected to further incentivise smart meter adoption as smart meters will allow for a wider choice of tariffs and accurate price comparisons based on actual consumption.

Manu Ravishankar, Senior Manager, the Carbon Trust commented, 

“We’re excited to contribute our expertise in energy innovation to support the development of this comparison tool as a part of the consortium for this Smarter Tariff - Smarter Comparison project. This work can deliver a step change in the sector by helping to increase the uptake of smart tariffs and enable linked development of new value propositions on low carbon technologies for consumers.”