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The University of Southampton
Energy at Southampton

Research innovation helping the future development of Britain’s energy networks

Published: 29 January 2014
energy saving

The University of Southampton is part of an innovative project, which has just received major funding to help reduce energy use in the home.

Southern Electric Power Distribution (SEPD)'s ‘Solent Achieving Value from Efficiency' (SAVE) project has been successful in securing £8.3m of funding from Ofgem's Low Carbon Network Fund, bringing the project's total value to £10.3m. Their project partners are the University of Southampton, DNV GL and Maingate Wireless.

The Solent-based project will focus on local domestic customers, who will be offered new energy efficiency technology to trial in their homes and  incentives for making long-term changes to their energy usage behaviour.

As well as potentially lowering domestic energy bills, the project will also investigate how reduced energy usage in the home can cut the amount  required for electric network upgrades and encourage more connections from renewable generators.

Professor AbuBakr Bahaj heads the University's Sustainable Energy Research Group, which is the academic lead on the SAVE project, and colleagues Dr Ben Anderson and Dr Patrick James are also part of the team on this project.

Stewart Reid, SEPD's Future Network's Manager, whose team led the project submission, said: "I have worked in the energy sector for over 30 years and have rarely seen such profound changes in the industry. This project has the potential to completely change the relationship between Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) and their customers and come up with a valuable suite of tools for DNOs across Great Britain.... This is an excellent result, not just for SEPD, but also for collaborators ...and ultimately, for Great Britain .... It is also a fantastic opportunity for our customers and stakeholders in the Solent area to get involved in an important and innovative project."

The results of the SAVE project will help DNOs make informed investment choices, and see energy efficiency measures as cost-effective, low-carbon alternatives to traditional network reinforcement
Promoting energy efficiency

Hannah Nixon, Senior Partner at Ofgem, said: "Innovation is integral to the future development of Britain's energy networks. Ofgem is leading the way in getting the network companies to prepare for the future through our three funding competitions. Today's 10 successful projects show excellent partnership working with a range of organisations."


Cutting energy use in the home

This project, which builds on our research and track record in energy efficiency and data analysis, shows confidence in the overarching activities of the group in energy generation and demand reductions

Professor AbuBakr Bahaj - Head of the UNiversity of Southampton's Sustainable Research Group
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