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Welsh Government Smart Living Initiative

An aerial photograph of the port of Milford Haven. Buildings, roads and cars towards the bottom of the photo, the sea in the top half.

A review of progress and learning so far.

Together with AD Research & Analysis, the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) has conducted three studies reporting on the progress made by the Welsh Government Smart Living Initiative between 2018 and 2021.

In the transition towards a low carbon economy, new energy technologies are emerging at a rapid pace. There are promising opportunities for these transitions to benefit communities across Wales. In response to this, in 2015 the Welsh Government set up the Smart Living Initiative. The initiative was created to support the various demonstrators taking place to create ‘place-based and needs-led’ smart changes in Wales.

Back in 2015, we ran several workshops for the Welsh Government to help them articulate the concept of smart living. As of March 2018, 12 projects had started that explore how smart technology can be used in the service of consumers in an innovative way.

Welsh Government Smart Living Initiative report 2018

We conducted the first Smart Living Initiative report in 2018. It reviewed eight ‘demonstrator’ projects set up to explore the concept of Smart Living in 2016.

An aerial photograph of the port of Milford Haven. Buildings, roads and cars towards the bottom of the photo, the sea in the top half.
The Port of Milford Haven is participating as a demonstrator in the Smart Living Initiative by developing a zero-carbon area on the Waterfront.

Smart Living demonstrator projects

The eight projects that we reviewed in detail were:

We compared and contrasted these different projects against a number of different dimensions as well as examining the above projects in detail, to draw out lessons and recommendations. 

The Smart Living Initiative report 2019

The second report in 2019 showed how the smart living concept had evolved in eleven demonstrations since the programme’s inception.  This second report incorporated both energy-innovation-led projects and those which were more driven by wellbeing agendas for local communities while also featuring ‘smart’ elements.

Download the 2019 report here (PDF — 2.12 MB)

The third report

Post-Covid, a third report explored 26 diverse projects around Wales between 2019 and 2021. It found that the net zero agenda had transformed the Smart Living policy context with rapid decarbonisation driving Smart Living.

The Initiative achieved step changes since the review in 2018/19, including:

This third report was not published by the Welsh Government, therefore a download link is not available.

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