Imperial College London

New project aims to help smaller businesses understand and reduce energy costs

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Image of a coffee shop with lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling, coffee making equipment on a wooden countertop and a man in the background making coffee.

The initiative aims to raise energy awareness among business consumers using data to support a low carbon transition in commercial buildings.

Researchers at Imperial College London have launched a project which aims to engage small and medium business owners (SMEs) in Great Britain and work with them to raise awareness of their electricity costs. The goal is to develop a website to help businesses navigate the complex electricity billing structure amid rising energy charges and help them reduce their costs.

The website will include a clear breakdown and useful explanations of electricity bill charges and will provide a data repository of both historical and future projections of electricity prices for different locations in England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland is currently not included in the project as it has a different electricity tariff structure compared to the rest of the UK.

There are three research questions currently guiding the project:

  • What are the electricity costs consequences if non-domestic consumers decide to “do nothing” to change their electricity use pattern and electricity bill management? Can they afford these financial risks?
  • Considering SME consumers, how can a website with integrated Application Programming Interface (API) help to raise their energy awareness and drive smart energy management actions?
  • From the prospective policy changes, how the components of the UK electricity bills are expected to change in the upcoming years? 

The team are calling for SMEs to access their Electricity Costs Project website and get in touch to discuss their priorities when it comes to understanding their electricity usage and reducing their costs. This will enable the team to understand how best to support businesses, and how they can use electricity usage data to enhance knowledge about bespoke electricity costs for SMEs in different sectors.

The project will be carried out by Guilherme Vieira as part of his MSc studies in Sustainable Energy Futures and supervised by Dr Salvador Acha, Research Fellow in Energy Systems and Sustainable Operations. Dr Acha previously secured funding to develop this project through the Imperial Techcelerate programme, and is Project Manager of the Imperial-Sainsbury Partnership, where he is carrying out research into ways of reducing the organisations’ carbon footprint.

If you are small to medium business in Great Britain and interested in being involved in this project, please visit the Electricity Costs Project website for further details, or contact the team via email.


Main image: Pixabay

Reporter

Sara West

Sara West
Department of Chemical Engineering

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 6607
Email: sara.west@imperial.ac.uk

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