UK government outline next steps in smart meter rollout

Posted at November 8, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on UK government outline next steps in smart meter rollout

UK Energy Minister Baroness Verma has outlined the next steps in the government’s rollout of 53 million smart meters to the country’s homes and businesses by 2019.

In a speech to the Smart Metering Forum in London yesterday, Baroness Verma said the rollout is on course, with the groundwork laid for the creation of the central Data Communications Company (DCC) and the award of the licence.

The government will also shortly outline how the rollout programme will engage with consumers and provide reassurance over privacy and security, she added.

“While we recognise that the rollout poses some challenges, we believe it will bring about very real and substantial benefits to consumers, which is at the heart of the smart meter programme,” she said. “By putting consumers in control of their energy use, smart meters enable consumers to adopt behaviour changes to improve energy efficiency and help save money on their energy bills.”

Over the next 20 years, the smart metering programme will net total benefits of some £7.2 billion, according to government figures, through more accurate billing and more efficient energy use.

But the success of the programme will hinge on winning over consumers, which is no mean challenge in the current climate of dissatisfaction with energy suppliers.

The government is proposing the establishment of a Central Delivery Body, which is funded by suppliers, to engage with consumers, building confidence in smart meters, their installation and use.

There will also be a code of practice that when smart meters are installed customers receive good service, including information on how to use their new meter and display to use energy more efficiently.

But perhaps most importantly of all, the government says it will work to ensure the security of smart meter systems at every stage of development, including the use of data gathered during the lifetime of the device.

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Related stories:
Essent signs up AlertMe to make Dutch homes smarter (2-Nov)
Smart meters will net the UK £14 billion in savings, says report (20-Sept)
EDF Energy smart meter trial garners 5000th customer (26-Jul)
ScottishPower, SmartReach and Siemens launch UK smart meter trial (18-Jul)

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