The aim is for every UK home and business to have a smart meter installed by 2020. With an estimated cost of £11 billion is this achievable and beneficial?
The government has set targets for energy companies to install smart meters for their customers including meeting specific security and requirements. There is no legal requirement for customers to have a smart meter in their homes so the rollout may be a difficult task.
What are the benefits?
Smart meters provide you with a more accurate energy bill with the avoidance of estimates. You can see your usage and charges live on the monitor and see any fluctuations or peaks in your daily routine.
They allow the potential for different tariffs so that the customer can decide to use their appliances outside of peak times to reduce the unit cost.
The smart meters provide huge amounts of data back to the energy companies so that they can target different locations, products and predict when energy surges are needed.
The roll out of smart meters is going to be slow to begin with as the technology is still being developed and in the early stages. Some landlords have seen the potential to upgrading to a smart meter as they will have access to the energy use of tenant and hence see whether any energy saving measure need to be taken.
What are the challenges?
Only some energy suppliers are providing smart meters at present so some customers are changing suppliers to gain access earlier.
There are points to consider with data protection and the sharing of the customer data amongst the energy suppliers.
Last year a report by the National Infrastructure Commission predicted that customers could be saving up to £8 billion per year by 2030. This figure is helping people to believe this is a great way to help reach the worlds carbon targets and help reduced our energy usage.
The report identified that customers will shift their energy usage to off peak times to reduce their bills, which will help the National Grid to predict when energy is needed and prepare for when customers will be using their electricity.
The benefits of Smart Meters are great, and using technology in the energy sector is the way forward, but how quickly will you be seeing yours installed?