Modernising Energy Efficiency through Digitalisation - Webinar 4: Lightbulbs or Cables? The role of digital energy efficiency in helping to manage electricity networks

Online: 18 November 2019 16:00 - 17:00

Topics, Energy Efficiency

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Energy efficiency is changing, with new digital technologies enabling greater control, optimisation and analytics. New policies and new business models will greatly enhance end-use and systems efficiency.

A topic of fast-growing interest to member countries and partners, the IEA has embarked on a cross-agency initiative – Modernising Energy Efficiency through Digitalisation – to explore the potential impacts of digitalisation on energy efficiency and the implications for policy makers. In the recently launched Energy Efficiency 2019, we have identified a set of critical policy considerations within the Readiness for Digital Energy Efficiency policy framework.

We continue to undertake deep dive research on key topics, including updates to our resource library on the global exchange for energy efficiency, and we have organised a series of thematic events to facilitate stakeholder engagement and exchange of best practices.

This webinar is the fourth in a series on the topic of digitalisation and energy efficiency. The first webinar featured guest speaker David Nemtzow from the US Department of Energy Building Technologies Office presenting on the Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings Program, and the second webinar was presented by DENEFF (the German Business Initiative for Energy Efficiency) and focused on the application and impact of digital technologies on industrial energy efficiency. The third webinar was presented by EDNA (the Electronic Devices and Networks Annex) of the IEA’s TCP (Technology Collaboration Programme) on 4E (Energy Efficient End-Use Equipment) and covered the role of connected devices in intelligent efficiency.

Lightbulbs or Cables? The role of digital energy efficiency in managing electricity networks

This webinar will explore the role of digital energy efficiency in helping to manage electricity networks with two presentations from distribution network operators (DNOs) in the UK – Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) and the UK Power Network (UKPN).

Over the past 5 years, the UK government has invested £10 million in a project to assess the benefits digital energy efficiency can play in managing networks within future electricity markets. SSEN, the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) for central southern England and Northern Scotland, implemented the UK energy sector’s largest field trial, the Solent Achieving Value from Efficiency (SAVE) project. Based on smart monitoring and data analytics across 8,000 households, the project team designed a range of initiatives – including energy efficiency, price signals, behaviour interventions, and community coaching – to encourage peak demand reductions. SSEN will share key findings from this initiative, including insights on the design and implementation of the field trial, as well as the results and value case to the UK government, DNOs and consumers. In addition, the webinar will discuss how SSEN is building on the learning from the SAVE trial to rollout similar projects across its service area.

UKPN also has experience implementing projects as part of its ‘Low Carbon Ready’ initiative. Informed by the results from energywise, a trial demonstrating how network operators can engage with vulnerable customers to support them in maximising the benefits of smart meters, energy savings, and demand response opportunities, UKPN has recently launched Firefly, a Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) funded innovation project looking at how DNO-led energy efficiency can offer an alternative to network reinforcement. The project is currently in the feasibility phase, but field trials are anticipated to assess the benefits of a DNO-led rollout of energy efficiency measures targeting specific substations within the UKPN’s service area.


Charlie Edwards has been responsible for the SAVE project for two years. With six years’ experience in demand response being developed through five years’ experience within SSEN’s innovation department, he has delivered the SAVE project to maximise industry learning.

Angeliki Koulouri joined UK Power Networks’ Innovation team two years ago. Angeliki has a decade of international work experience in the energy industry. Her background is in renewable energy, energy policy, consulting and project management. She’s been leading award-winning energywise project, and most recently Firefly, an innovative project looking at a DNO-led approach delivering energy efficiency measures.

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