National Grid boss says businesses not households will deliver smartgrid

National Grid boss Steve Holliday will hand over reigns to John Pettigrew in March
National Grid boss Steve Holliday hands over to John Pettigrew in March 2016

Outgoing National Grid boss Steve Holliday believes that businesses will make four times more impact than households on the UK’s transition towards a smarter power system.

Signing off in an opinion piece in the Telegraph before stepping down next month, Holliday said the power system was changing rapidly, but remained robust. He rubbished suggestions that the country was heading for power shortages and blackouts, calling for a change of narrative to bring more businesses into demand-side response programmes.

While the government ploughs on with a £12bn domestic smart meter programme, Holliday suggested businesses should be the primary focus.

“To be transformative, smart meters need to empower consumers to gain greater control of their energy and the price they pay for it,” he wrote in the paper. “Although the plans cover households, it is businesses where estimates indicate that four-fifths of the potential energy savings from smart control technology can be found.”

Holliday cited National Grid’s own push to bring businesses into system balancing as part of a “revolution” in the power market and name-checked business energy supplier and demand management firm Tempus Energy as the shape of things to come.

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