UK smart meter roll-out programme announced

by Published Mon 11 May 2009 12:43
Energy market to be overhauled with smart meter programme

All homes in Britain will have hi-tech smart meters installed by 2020 under government plans published today.

The UK will be the first country in the world to have an overhaul of this size for both electricity and gas meters in an attempt to amek households more energy aware and efficient.

Smart meters enable meter readings to be taken remotely and together with a display device give householders real time information on their energy use.

The new information smart meters provide will help consumers to see what energy they are using and how to save money on their bills.

Based on studies carried out by the Department for Energy and Climate Change, rolling out smart meters to all households will deliver net benefits of between £2.5 billion and £3.6 billion over the next 20 years.

Smart meters will mean the end of estimated bills, no more having to stay in for home readings, quicker and smoother switching between suppliers and cheaper, easier prepayment.

The Government has today set out the different options for rolling out the revolutionary kit across Great Britain and on what the smart meters should be capable of doing.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said: “This is another part of our Great British refurb. The meters most of us have in our homes were designed for a different age, before climate change. Now we need to get smarter with our energy.

“Smart meters will empower all consumers to monitor their own energy use and make reductions in energy consumption and carbon emissions as a result. Smart meters will also mean the end of inaccurate bills and estimated meter readings.

“This is a big project affecting 26 million homes, and several million businesses, so it's important we design a system that brings best value to everyone involved.”

One existing smart meter customer, Karen Gibson, a 33 year old nursery manager from Northumberland, said the technology makes a huge difference.

Karen, an npower customer who had a 'smart pre-payment meter' fitted in October 2007, said: “This new smart meter has made life so much easier. I believe everyone should have one and the sooner the better.

“I reckon I have saved around £250 since I had it fitted a couple of years ago because I am not wasting as much energy as before. I know at any given moment how much energy I am using in pounds and pence and I pay for exactly what I use.

“An added bonus is that I don't need to pop out constantly to top up my key. And if the shop is shut I don't need to worry as I prefer to use the internet to top up my meter. If I have a problem with my computer I can simply use my mobile phone. All the fuss has now been taken away with having a pre-payment meter.”

Smart meters signify the start of a change in our energy habits. They are a key step towards future smart grids which have the potential to help our shift to a low-carbon economy - making it easier for renewable generation to feed into the grid, including micro and community level generation and will support the decarbonisation of heat and transport through the greater use of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Suppliers will be able to offer more tariffs and services, such as 'time-of-use' tariffs, encouraging more efficient and economical energy use.

The preferred roll-out option is the central communications model - where energy suppliers are responsible for the installation and maintenance of the smart meter but the communication to and from the device is coordinated by a third party across the whole of Great Britain.

The other principal models considered are:

* Competitive model - where energy suppliers manage all aspects of smart metering, including installation and communication.

* Fully centralised - where regional franchises are set up to manage the installation and operation of smart meters with the communications to and from the meters managed centrally and on a national level.

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Comments about UK smart meter roll-out programme announced

If this interests you, so may It's a site to share energy meter readings and analyse your electricity consumption.
Colin , London around 4 years, 7 months ago

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