Ignore the problems, UK smart meter roll-out is “phenomenal”
April 2, 2019
Despite well-publicised problems with roll-out and compatibility, the UK’s smart meter deployment was described as phenomenal and potentially life changing by Teneille Humphris (pictured), smart metering policy manager for Smart Energy GB, speaking at last week’s Smart Home for Connected & Assisted Living event in Birmingham, UK.
“There have been set-back and complications,” she said, “and there will probably be more. But no-one ever said it would be a straightforward project. This is a massive infrastructure upgrade across England, Scotland and Wales. We urgently need a modern connected energy system. The end is worth the journey.”
Smart Energy GB was set up by the UK government to build consumer confidence and encourage people to be enthusiastic about smart meters.
Due to the problems, such as smart meters stopping working when people change energy suppliers, almost everyone in the country knows about the roll-out. So far, around 12 million have been installed and another 13 million are due to go into homes and businesses in the next six months.
“Every home and small business will be offered a smart meter,” said Humphris. “It is helping the British public move towards a more sustainable energy system. This is a phenomenal upgrade going on across Great Britain.”
She said the roll-out was also essential for the predicted growth in electric vehicle use.
“Electric vehicles emit about sixty per cent less greenhouse gasses than diesel engines over their lifetime,” she said. “But they are also expected to increase demand on electricity by fifteen per cent over the next few years. Smart meters are necessary for the uptake in electric vehicles.”
She also said smart meters could be used in a home healthcare context by using load monitoring to look for breaks in usage patterns.
“That could provide indications of health problems such as, for example, ad appliance being left on longer than it should be,” she said. “Smart meters are not just a box on the wall. They provide information about energy usage that has never been seen before. They are potentially life changing.”