The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

The UK Smart Meter Rollout Delay: Let's Get It Right

Earlier this year, the U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) decided to delay the smart meter rollout. Despite some early frustration, many believe it was a smart move. The government recently announced that 53 million smart meters will be rolled out by 2020, one year later than its original goal.

The consumer is, rightly so, at the heart of this rollout and the delay will ensure that the consumer is fully engaged and educated. In addition to this, it will also ensure that the functionality of the meters will be fit for purpose. Installing 53 million smart meters in 30 million homes and small businesses by 2020 is a tall order and this is just the first step. Consumers will demand a seamless, quality customer experience which will be essential in the early stages to encourage buy-in. From an industry perspective it is reassuring to see that the government has taken feedback on board and, more importantly, is continuing to focus on consumer sentiment.

Success of the smart meter rollout is dependent on a number of underlying factors: securing the right skill set for installers, consumer engagement and technical pairing, and using smart meter data to deliver a better service. Firstly, the right skill-set from installers is crucial, along with the understanding and communication skills to answer any queries the consumer may have on their new smart meter.  To ensure the roll out is successful, it is vital to maintain consumer engagement and manage expectations.  Smart meters do offer the potential to achieve significant benefits to consumers and businesses alike however only with behavioural change will this be possible.

Another issue to consider is the technical pairing of smart meters with other technologies. This is how the real benefits to smart meters will be delivered to the consumer. It is important to recognise that not all consumers are alike. For example, for some, an in-home display (IHD) would be an effective tool to monitor their energy consumption. However, others could prefer a platform that they are more familiar with such as an iPhone app, resulting in a much greater behavioural change for these individuals. Therefore, it is important for energy suppliers to reflect the changing technology used by their customers in their approach to providing smart meter data, by perhaps offering more of a choice. 

Finally, the rollout is a great opportunity for the industry to think outside the consumer box. Smart meters have the potential to offer huge benefits to the energy industry. If meters are collecting network data too, then they could really help Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) to deal with faults more efficiently and get a better understanding of the impact on their distribution network. It is important to ensure information that will be of value to network businesses is included wherever possible.

The U.K. has learned a great deal from the U.S. smart meter programme. Despite more than $4 billion in stimulus money, and 30 million meters deployed in the two years after the programme began, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reports that smart meter penetration levels have only reached 23 percent in the United States. A lack of coherent policy and consumer wariness has been blamed for the lag. This highlights again why it is crucial that the government continues to keep consumers at the centre of the rollout and the above points are considered during the extended time period before the rollout begins.

The rollout is just the beginning of an incredibly important journey and if consumers are successfully engaged and educated then the U.K. rollout could be an example of how to do it right.

Lead image: Smart meter via Shutterstock

Untitled Document

Get All the Renewable Energy World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

RELATED ARTICLES

ORPC Ireland receives funding for marine hydrokinetic feasibility study

Gregory B. Poindexter The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is funding the Ireland division of U.S.-based Ocean Renewable Powe...

Don’t Like Obama’s Clean Power Plan? Fine, Here’s Cap and Trade

Mark Drajem and Lynn Doan, Bloomberg Republican governors who boycott the Obama administration’s new power-plant regulations may instead get an offer they...

Renewable Energy Gains Greater Opportunity in US Clean Power Plan

Elisa Wood After a year of being pummeled by opponents, Obama’s final carbon reduction plan emerged this week with an even stron...

US Clean Power Plan Could Include Carbon Trading

Mark Drajem, Bloomberg Some businesses that back President Barack Obama’s plan to curb greenhouse gases are making a late lobbying push to a...

PRESS RELEASES

Canadian Solar Wins Five Solar Power Projects Totaling 185 MW in Brazil

These power projects were won under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the B...

$100 Off of 5-day Advanced PV Project Experience. Download a Topic Schedule.

Assemble, ground, energize, and commission a complete grid-tied SolarEdge system from s...

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd talks politics of fear vs. politics of hope

Rudd, who led the Australian parliament from 2007 to 2010, told the Summit audience tha...

Intersolar AWARD „Solar Projects in India“ – Applications being accepted until September 18

The Intersolar AWARD in the category Solar Projects in India honors projects in the fie...

FEATURED BLOGS

Washington, DC Bridges the Solar Gap

The District of Columbia has enjoyed 15 years of strong economic growth. But prosperity is spread unevenly across the...

Sell Through Hypothesis

You first learned to hypothesize, or make educated guesses, in grade school science class. Now it’s time to ref...

Cronimet / THEnergy study: In solar for mines size does not always matter - Reducing CAPEX with energy efficiency and load shifting

Munich, September 2015. Mining companies are constantly gaining interest in solar solutions because frequently solar ...

Final Program Now Available for GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo - Final Program from

FINANCIAL NEWS

David Stroud is General Manager of EDMI Europe, the largest provider of smart meters to the UK market. He has responsibility for local sales and operations. David joined EDMI in 2012 having previously been GM of Advanced Metering Services, a compa...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

International Energy and Sustainability Conference 2015

The fourth International Energy and Sustainability Conference will be he...

Intersolar Europe 2016

Exhibition: June 22-24, 2016; Conference: June 21-22, 2016 Intersolar Eu...

Intersolar South America 2015

Exhibition and Conference: September 1-3, 2015 Intersolar South America ...

COMPANY BLOGS

Sell Through Hypothesis

You first learned to hypothesize, or make educated guesses, in grade sch...

Vacancy? No Problem!

Have you ever tried to sell an efficiency product or service to a prospe...

Going The Extra Mile

Selling efficiency takes perseverance, creativity, and a willingness to ...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS