Smart Technology and Energy Efficiency: Helping reduce the impact of rising energy costs in commercial and residential premises 2023

Small man sat on large pound coins

Inflation in 2022 has been around the 10% threshold for several months now, with CPIH – the Consumer Prices Index plus Housing – standing at 9.3% for the 12 months to November, a slight decrease from 9.6% in October.

CPIH tracks the cost of physical goods like food, alcohol, furniture and clothing, but with the addition of owner-occupier housing expenses such as fuel and energy costs.

Although it’s a measure of residential rather than business electricity prices, it’s a good rule of thumb to see how energy has contributed to the cost of living – and how that’s likely to continue in 2023.

How much have energy prices contributed to the cost of living?

In the year to November 2022, the two biggest contributors to CPIH were food & non-alcoholic beverages (+16.5%) and housing & household services (+11.7%), the latter of which includes gas, electricity and other fuels.

Without including food, energy, alcohol or tobacco, the headline rate of CPIH falls to 5.7% instead of 9.3% overall.

From January 2023, Ofgem’s cap on the electricity price per unit of energy is set to take the average annual household bill from £3,549 to £4,279. Not counting any subsidies from the government’s energy price guarantee scheme, that’s an increase of 20% to greet the New Year.

How much energy could homes and businesses save with smart tech?

It’s hard to put an exact figure on the potential savings of an energy-efficient smart home or improvements in business energy efficiency.

As an example, in June 2022 the Local Government Association estimated that poorly insulated lofts are leaking £770 million worth of heat each year, equivalent to £250 per home.

This has knock-on effects, as the NHS spends about half a billion pounds each year treating health problems arising from cold homes.

Summer 2022 also marked a decade since the Carbon Trust published a report, in which it estimated improvements in commercial building energy performance could save 10% just using “low and no-cost actions”.

How can smart technology increase energy efficiency?

Smart technology is all about increasing energy efficiency, cutting costs, reducing carbon and improving convenience – a real win-win on all counts.

That can be by automatically adjusting lighting and thermostats in response to atmospheric conditions, switching off utilities when rooms and premises are not occupied, and enabling remote access to building management systems via the internet.

Without any major changes to how the building is used, this can deliver significant savings on energy consumption without simply making the premises colder or darker.

Implementing smart technology in your home and businesses

Intecho’s smart technology consultants can implement building control systems and sensors to give you seamless management of your new smart tech devices, including lighting, heating and air conditioning.

Automated sensors can deliver immediate energy and cost savings, without any manual intervention required to keep them working efficiently.

If you’d prefer manual control, then a combination of dedicated control panels, online dashboards and smartphone apps can all give you easy, intuitive access to adjust your settings from in the room, or anywhere in the world.

Can smart technology provide an energy efficiency ROI?

Yes. The Carbon Trust estimates that a 20% reduction in energy usage is equivalent to a 5% increase in sales for the average business.

To find out more about the ROI case for smart technology, or to enquire about how smart tech can help your business, call Intecho today and we’ll be happy to talk you through the options.