The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, attended an Energy Innovation Showcase event at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay to help encourage Welsh businesses to embrace the disruptive technologies transforming the energy landscape.
Centrica, which employs around 1,800 employees across Wales, welcomed the Cabinet Secretary to the event to help highlight how Welsh businesses can take greater control of energy costs.
The Cabinet Secretary welcomed news that British Gas, which is part of Centrica, has already installed around 18,000 smart meters in businesses across Wales.
In total, the business has installed more than 190,000 smart meters in Welsh homes and businesses, helping end users to better monitor and manage their energy by replacing traditional meters with smart meters.
The Energy Innovation Showcase also provided an opportunity to learn about Centrica’s Distributed Energy & Power business, which provides larger energy users with innovative solutions to help manage energy more effectively, including energy generation and storage.
The Cabinet Secretary, said:
“The smarter use of technology is a key element of our Green Growth Wales strategy. We recognise we need to minimise our dependence on central generation and smart meters are just one way we can achieve this and, in turn, put control back in the hands of the consumers.
“Smart innovative technology can enable individuals, communities and businesses to better manage energy consumption, save money and secure sustainable energy supply”.
With Welsh and wider UK businesses and the public sector estimated to be spending around £20 billion a year on energy, the event also highlighted how energy is becoming a source of real competitive advantage.
Gab Barbaro, Managing Director for British Gas’ business division, said:
“There are significant opportunities for Welsh businesses to save money on their bills by taking a smarter approach to the way they procure, use, manage and store energy.
“Working with Centrica’s Distributed Energy & Power business, we’re providing customers with the tools to give them real, actionable insights that could save up to 20% through energy efficiency improvements alone. That’s a £4bn, golden opportunity for businesses and the public sector and just the start of how energy technology can create real value for businesses.”
Ben Cottam, FSB Wales Head of External Affairs, said:
“Energy bills remain one of the top issues cited by small businesses across Wales, and energy efficiency remains the single best way to reduce consumer costs.
“The move to smart meters in Wales is one of the best ways that businesses can take control of their energy bills.
“However, installing the new technology won’t automatically provide any benefits. Cost savings will come with the behaviour change that this technology empowers and the energy savings that come with this.
“Therefore, the rollout of smart meters must be supported by ambitious and holistic industry plans for ongoing energy saving support and advice to small businesses.”
Centrica employs around 1,300 employees at its Cardiff contact centre in addition to hundreds of engineers serving businesses and homes across Wales.
For further information, visit: www.centrica.com