The changing future energy demands of eleven major British cities, including Birmingham, are revealed in a new report published today by Smart Energy GB, the voice of the smart meter rollout. This is the first time that predictions about future increases in energy demand in the UK have been analysed and published on a city level.

Powering future cities, carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, shows that this growing demand will primarily be driven by urban population growth, economic growth and a predicted surge in use of new technology, including electric vehicles. Many cities are already making smart changes to prepare for the future. 

Domestic electricity use will see the biggest increase in demand, forecast to rise by 30 per cent in Birmingham in the next 20 years. Meanwhile, demand for domestic gas is expected to increase by 15 per cent.

Of the 11 major UK cities analysed in the report, Birmingham is expected to see the fourth highest demand for domestic electricity, behind Cardiff, London and Bristol.

The need to use more renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, to meet this demand also brings challenges; as peaks and troughs in supply of electricity, caused by changes in the weather, need to be managed.

The report highlights some of the great strides our cities are already making to meet demand, using smarter technology.

Smart meters will be installed in every home in Great Britain by 2020. They will connect with and send data to energy suppliers and will help cities better manage energy demand.

Sacha Deshmukh, Chief Executive of Smart Energy GB said:

“This report looks at the challenges and opportunities ahead for our cities as energy demands change. It provides, for the first time, a detailed, city-level picture of future energy needs.

“Smart meters are an essential step to a smarter future. Many cities, such as Birmingham, have already started to use smart technology to create cleaner, greener environments. With smart meters installed across the country there are great opportunities for further innovation.”