Guidance: Non-domestic Smart Energy Management Innovation Competition

The government committed up to £8.8 million to develop innovative approaches to energy management using smart meter data, tailored to the needs of smaller non-domestic sites.

The Non-Domestic Smart Energy Management Innovation Competition aims to drive innovation in the energy services market in 3 priority non-domestic sectors:

  • hospitality
  • retail
  • school

The competition will help such non-domestic organisations cut their energy costs and be more energy efficient, enabling them to boost productivity and contribute to UK emissions reduction targets. It will also develop and strengthen the market for energy management products and services for smaller non-domestic sites, including both independent businesses and chains.

Phase 1 (March 2018 to September 2018)

Nine projects distributed across these 3 sectors were selected to receive initial Phase 1 funding to develop innovative energy management solutions using smart meter data. The Pilio project did not progress beyond Phase 1, and Phase 1 of the Toshiba project was extended for completion in early 2019.

Phase 2 (October 2018 to January 2019)

During Phase 2 (October 2018 to January 2019), 7 projects undertook ‘real-world’ initial feasibility testing of the solutions they developed in Phase 1:

  • Alert Energy Management System (AEMS), developed by AND TR
  • Energy Comparison and Advice Tool (E-CAT), developed by Element Energy
  • Energy in Schools, developed by Samsung
  • Energy Sparks, developed by Energy Sparks
  • Fluttr, developed by Considerate Group
  • GlowPro, developed by Hildebrand
  • Untapped, developed by Hoare Lea

Phase 3 (February 2019 to January 2020)

In February 2019, all Phase 2 projects successfully progressed to Phase 3 which consisted of a wider roll-out and further testing of the tools, as well as developing and testing supporting complementary interventions such as energy management and engagement services. Phase 3 completed in January 2020.

Additional information about these projects, including project summaries, short Q&As with the competition partners and an infographic visualising the projects are available here.

Research and evaluation programme

The research and evaluation programme ran in parallel to phases 1-3 of the NDSEMIC competition to draw out evidence about what is effective for delivering energy savings and to explore with stakeholders how to drive future market development.

The programme consisted of traditional evaluation activities led by Ipsos MORI, and a new ‘action research’ approach led by the Carbon Trust.

Research and evaluation findings

Networking event – November 2018

As part of the Carbon Trust-led research activities, a networking event was held on 8 November 2018, bringing together all Phase 1 projects and a wide range of industry representatives from across sectors – see networking event slides here. The event aimed to support the identification of pilot sites and routes to commercialisation of the innovative solutions.

Information day – November 2017

The accompanying slidepack was presented at an Information event held on 30 November 2017. It covers:

  • An overview of the competition context and objectives
  • A summary of non-domestic sector research
  • Insights from specialists in retail, hospitality and schools
  • An overview of smart meter data
  • Details of the competition design and process

Smart metering in non-domestic premises: early research findings

BEIS commissioned research that sought to understand how smaller non-domestic organisations use energy and manage energy consumption, including how they use smart meter data.

The study used a cluster (grouping) based method, which classified smaller non-domestic organisations by how they use energy. It identified 3 high-impact sectors that offer material energy savings: retail, hospitality and schools. The research also showed that smart meter data has the potential to prompt organisations into taking action provided they know how to interpret it within the context of their own operations and a cost effective solution is available. In addition it highlighted the importance of the way organisations are engaged prior to, during and after smart meter installation.

The Research Executive Summary and Overview Report have direct relevance to this competition.