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Guidance: Non-domestic Smart Energy Management Innovation Competition

The government has 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
  • schools

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.

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.

During Phase 2 (October 2018 to January 2019), 7 projects:

  • ANDtr
  • Considerate Hoteliers
  • Element Energy
  • Hildebrand
  • Hoare Lea
  • Samsung
  • Transition Bath

undertook “real-world” initial feasibility testing of the solutions they developed in Phase 1. In February 2019, all the 7 Phase 2 projects successfully progressed to Phase 3 which will consist 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 is due to complete in January 2020.

Additional information about these seven projects, including the latest project summaries, short Q&As with the competition partners and case studies of initial user reactions to the innovations being tested, can now be found on this page.

In parallel to these projects, the ongoing Research and Evaluation Programme (REP) aims to generate a wide-ranging evidence base to determine ‘what works’ in terms of non-domestic engagement with smart meter data, specifying how and why. The infographic above and sections below provide more details, including feedback from the recent networking event.

Networking event – November 2018

As part of the Carbon Trust-led REP coordination 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 above. The event aimed to support the identification of pilot sites and routes to commercialisation of the innovative solutions.

Competition Details

Details about the competition are set out in the original Invitation to Tender.

For more information, please email

Research and Evaluation Programme

BEIS has contracted Ipsos MORI to lead a £1.5 million research and evaluation programme that will run alongside the NDSEMIC competition.

The research & evaluation programme consists of both traditional evaluation activities and a novel ‘Action Research’ approach. It aims to generate a wide-ranging evidence base to determine ‘what works’ in terms of non-domestic engagement with smart meter data, specifying how and why.

The ‘evaluation’ strand will be led by Ipsos MORI, who is responsible for the overall delivery of the research contract. This element will seek to measure the impacts and effectiveness of competition projects in shifting non-domestic behaviours and reducing energy consumption, generating lessons at project, sector and competition level. It will also consider the effectiveness of the implementation of the competition and how this relates to the achievement of objectives.

The novel ‘Action Research’ component, led by the Carbon Trust, aims to maximise the success of individual projects by putting the end-user at the heart of the competition, using emerging evidence to iteratively ‘feedback’ into product/service development. This will draw upon Carbon Trust’s industry expertise to support areas including user testing, market development strategies and consumer research approaches to secure intended project benefits.

Ipsos MORI and the Carbon Trust will also support ‘coordination activities’ for the competition, bringing together industry-wide experts and competition partners to share best practice and cross-cutting evidence.

BEIS will use outputs from the research & evaluation programme to inform approaches to non-domestic smart meter engagement and in due course will publish findings for wider dissemination.

Information day

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.

Smart metering in non-domestic premises: early research findings

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

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