London, UK, 23rd October 2017: Nottingham is leading Britain’s smart energy initiatives and has claimed eighth place overall in the second UK Smart Cities Index, commissioned by Huawei UK and conducted by Navigant Consulting. The report is based on evaluations of 20 cities and their strategies, key projects and overall readiness in using digital technology to improve crucial civic services from energy production to healthcare.

Nottingham has built up a strong roster of smart projects and initiatives, particularly for energy, to help meet the aims laid out in its Nottingham City Council led Energy Strategy 2010-2020. Those goals included the city delivering 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, as well as reducing carbon emissions by 26%. Nottingham is powering ahead, in 2016 the city exceeded its 2020 carbon emissions target, the current reduction stands at 36%.  Nottingham is now starting to align its Energy Strategy with its Smart City Strategy seeing the two as integral to each other.

Nottingham City Council is a leading local authority in the energy sector; it has the first UK’s first publicly owned car park to have a solar canopy. Its Energy Projects Service is developing solar projects to fully utilise the Council’s assets and has a pipeline of solar projects to roll out across its estate by 2020 including more solar car parks. The Council is also investing heavily in reducing its energy demand and carbon emissions by installing smart technologies and has the largest carbon reduction commitment of UK local authorities in the Salix scheme. The council will soon be piloting cutting edge fuel cell technology in three of its high energy consuming buildings; gas boilers will be replaced with fuel cell systems if successful at significantly reducing energy demand and costs then this will be rolled out to many other buildings across the city.

Project SCENe, a sustainable community energy project, has been a key initiative that brings together companies involved in the energy supply chain and academics from the University of Nottingham to work with around 120 homes to deliver new models for community energy schemes. The project is supported by Innovate UK funding and the Energy Research Accelerator, and is also deploying a 2 MW Tesla battery in what is expected to be Europe’s largest community battery installation at The Blueprint development in Trent Basin.

Nottingham is demonstrator city for a smart city Horizon 2020 project, REMOURBAN, which is developing a groundbreaking model to show how sustainability can be integrated into the regeneration of our towns and cities. The project, which is led locally by Nottingham City Council, Nottingham City Homes and Nottingham Trent University, is making great strides to regenerate an area of the city. Innovations include introducing electric bus infrastructure, an electric car club hub, a low carbon delivery service and extensive energy efficiency and renewable energy measures including smart technologies to over 400 households, radically improving the look and feel of the area.  10 of those houses will use smart techniques, bringing them to almost zero net energy, and test a model to achieve subsidy free deep retrofits in the future.

Nottingham Energy Partnership (NEP) delivered a solar battery storage project, Sungain Battery Bank, which allows 35 private households with rooftop solar to utilize 30% more of their generated energy. Furthermore, the 100% council-owned Enviroenergy provides heating to 5000 domestic and 150 commercial clients using low carbon energy from waste.

Sir Andrew Cahn, Huawei UK Board, said: “The successful cities of the future are going to be smart cities. It’s clear from this report that cities across the UK have made considerable progress over the last year, developing and implementing strategies to improve the delivery of public services and the urban environment. The scale of progress throughout the country is represented by a doubling in the number of cities included in this year’s ranking index compared to 2016. While Bristol and London are named as “leaders”, other cities have entered the index with exciting smart initiatives, such as Newcastle’s, City Futures programme and Cambridge’s, Smart Cambridge intelligent City Platform (iCP).”

Nottingham City Council Portfolio Holder for Energy and Sustainability, Councillor David Liversidge, said: “We are delighted to see Nottingham recognised as leading the UK’s smart energy initiatives. Energy sustainability has been one of our top priorities since our 10-year Energy Strategy was published in 2010. Nottingham is at the cutting edge of energy innovation having the right people and infrastructure to get these types of projects off the ground. We have seen successes across a number of projects, and our proud that initiatives such as Project SCENe, REMOURBAN, Sungain Battery Bank, and Enviroenergy as well as our own efforts to introduce smart technologies across our estate are helping us meet our 2020 energy targets. Looking forward, we will build on our smart energy reputation to pioneer smart transport, smart health and smart housing services for the benefit of our citizens.”

Eric Woods, research director at Navigant Consulting, who led the study, said: “UK cities are demonstrating an impressive commitment to service and technology innovation. They are now embedding smart city ideas into city planning and operations. They are also preparing for the impact of the next wave of technologies, including 5G, autonomous vehicles, and machine learning. The growing contribution that local universities are making to these programmes further emphasises the importance of advanced technologies to the future of UK cities.”


Rank City Category
1 Bristol Leader
2 London Leader
3 Manchester Contender
4 Birmingham Contender
5 Leeds Contender
6 Milton Keynes Contender
7 Glasgow Contender
8 Nottingham Contender
9 Peterborough Contender
10 Cambridge Contender
11 Oxford Contender
12 Aberdeen Contender
13 Edinburgh Contender
14 Newcastle Contender
15 Belfast Challenger
16 Sheffield Challenger
17 Reading Challenger
18 Liverpool Challenger
19 Cardiff Follower
20 Exeter Follower

The Huawei UK Smart Cities Index rankings were calculated by an in-depth analysis of ten criteria within the cities’ strategy and execution, covering areas such as their vision, digital innovation, implementation record, environmental impact and community reach.

In the overall report, Nottingham is named one of 12 “contender” cities alongside: Manchester, Aberdeen, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Glasgow, Leeds, Peterborough, Cambridge, Oxford, Edinburgh and Newcastle. The overall leader in the report is Bristol, followed by London.