DCC and UrbanTide win the prestigious edie Net Zero award for ground-breaking software 'uZero', which uses smart meter system data to tackle fuel poverty.

November 17th, 2023

At the prestigious annual edie Net Zero awards, uZero was awarded the Innovation of the Year: Software, Systems & Services Award. This recognises innovative solutions that help tackle societal challenges and aid the UK’s path to Net Zero.



edie Net Zero award judges quote:

“17% of emissions comes from heating homes and over the last 12-18 months we’ve seen our energy bills increase significantly and a larger proportion of the population live in fuel poverty and live in homes that suffer from damp and are adversely impacting our health.”

“uZero has taken a novel approach to tackling climate and social issues that are inextricably linked, can see real benefit being realised from the use of this tool and excited to see how it scales and is implemented more widely.”

The ‘uZero’ software was developed by UrbanTide, using anonymised smart meter system data combined with additional datasets and AI to tackle one of Britain's most pressing issues today – fuel poverty and energy inefficiency in households.

This innovative partnership between the Data Communications Company and UrbanTide, was established in 2018, and uZero is a pioneering platform that integrates anonymised real-time smart meter system data with multiple cross-sector datasets. uZero supports Energy Networks and Suppliers, Local Authorities, Housing Associations and Social Care Providers to target solutions that will save energy, reduce CO2 and enhance the liveability of our homes.

uZero has consumed 26 months of anonymised DCC Smart Meter System Data and uses it to identify and predict fuel-poor areas accurately. This is the first application of AI techniques on GB-wide Smart Meter System Data, and UrbanTide remains the only company in the UK to have consumed, analysed, and trained new AI models with this data.  

The Data Communications Company is the organisation that has built and runs the secure telecommunications network for energy smart meters. The DCC system is the largest communications network in the country and forms the digital spine of our transforming energy system. On average, the DCC is enrolling more than 15,000 meters a day, and now reaches more than 28 million smart meters in over half of British households.




 Speaking after the ceremony, co-founder of UrbanTide, Simon Tricker said: 

“We are delighted that uZero has been recognised by edie, particularly amongst a group of important and innovative solutions. This technology is already helping local authorities, energy networks, and others provide targeted support for households most affected by fuel poverty. We look forward to our continued partnership with the DCC to ensure more households receive the help they need and aid the UK’s path to Net Zero.”

Chief Executive of the DCC, Angus Flett said: 

“We are very proud to have been recognised by edie amid a strong field of finalists. This prestigious award demonstrates the power of smart meter data and the capabilities the smart meter network has to help tackle some of society’s most challenging issues. The ability to effectively target energy efficiency measures where they are most needed is the 'Silver Bullet' for tackling one of Britain's ‘most pressing issues' - fuel poverty. Reducing the number of families residing in properties with inadequate energy efficiency measures has noticeable, tangible, large-scale carbon reduction effects.”

Find out more about the prestigious edie awards




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