UK Smart Meters – A comedy of mistakes
Originally, the UK government had planned to lay down the intelligent technology for the first British smart meter community in 50 million households by next spring. In total, the project, originally planned to cost nearly eleven billion, has been said to bring in annual savings of up to 26p per family. This may seem like a very small amount, but the power companies are being generous with their share of the pie, apparently.
The initial plan was to have the technology in place for everyone in the UK by the end of this financial year, which seems to be now postponed until at least the end of next March. The main reason cited for this delay is that it is not just the UK government that is looking to benefit from the latest in modern electricity meter technology. In fact, several of the countries largest power providers have joined forces and are funding the research into what we call Smart Meters. This seems to be in order to deal with rising costs that are directly connected to the rising cost of fossil fuels.
One major company involved in the research
into UK smart meters is EPC Power, which is the Europe Clean Energy Regulator. According to their website they are a joint venture company between two leading industry bodies, EPC Europe and the European Electricity Authority. The idea behind this company is to “develop new methods for enabling consumers to make informed decisions about their energy supplier”. They are currently seeking sponsors for their research into how to improve the efficiency of existing meters. The current CCST (Cardiff) meter is believed to be at risk as power suppliers have been urged to commission a new one.
Another company involved is the Accuity Factors which is part of the ESOMAR Group. This company is involved in “researching new ways of enhancing the performance of appliances and reducing the cost of their operation and maintenance”. This company has invested millions in UK smart meters and looks forward to finding solutions for real-time energy use. As well as helping consumers, they are also helping energy companies by reducing the costs associated with their carbon footprint. This should come as no surprise as the UK Government has set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by eighty percent by the end of the next decade.
For consumers, the benefits of smart meters seem obvious
By installing a device in your home you will be able to monitor not only your daily usage but also the amount of energy your home uses each month. These devices can be found online and in many stores that carry home improvement goods. When considering whether to install one of these units, it is important to consider the level of automation that is desired. For those who are heavily involved in their home automation program, there are numerous options available such as: fully automated control; just enough automation to allow for normal day-to-day energy use; and integration with your existing thermostat.
Energy monitoring is rapidly becoming an essential part of our daily lives, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. While it is easy to say we don’t need any more energy consumption let alone increased consumption, most of us do. Therefore, smart meters are a worthwhile investment and a necessity for any homeowner who wants to conserve energy. In addition to being more efficient, smart meters can also save money on bills by reducing the cost associated with non-payment of meters. Consumers should investigate the many options available for energy metering in their area.