UK government plans smart meter roll-out

11 May 2009 – The British government today set out plans to have new smart meters installed in all 26 million UK homes by 2020, estimating that the project would deliver net benefits of £2.5bn-£3.6bn ($3.4bn – $4.7bn) over the next two decades, in the form of lower bills and reduced costs for energy firms.

The announcement was in the form of a consultation document setting out how energy companies should manage the installation of the technology.

Industry sources say that the £7bn cost amounts to around £15 per household per year between 2010 and 2020.
The new meters will be capable of providing real-time, accurate electricity and gas use data enabling customers to reduce the amount of energy they use, switch suppliers, and ultimately take advantage of smart grid technologies. The installation of smart meters mean the end of the very unpopular estimated gas and electricity bills.

"Smart meters will empower all consumers to monitor their own energy use and make reductions in energy consumption and carbon emissions as a result," said energy and climate change secretary Ed Miliband.

Under the consultation proposals, energy companies will be responsible for the supply and installation of the new meters but a new central government body will be set up to handle the nationwide transmission and management of the data. However, the government said it would also consider two alternative approaches as part of the consultation, which would either see individual energy companies manage all aspects of smart metering, or require the establishment of regional franchises to handle the installation of the meters while the data is managed by a new national body.

The government has offered alternative approached such as a local franchise for the roll-out and management of data or outsourcing the entire role to the energy companies. The Local Government Association called for the adoption of a regional franchise approach, arguing that it will be far more cost effective to send one team to carry out installations on a street than require each energy firm to carry out installations only for its own customers. However, some within the industry are fearful that the absence of competition in such an approach will make the franchises more costly and reduce the likelihood of the most effective meters being installed.

Centrica, the UK's largest energy supplier, today welcomed the planned roll-out of the technology, which will herald the biggest revolution in energy use since British Gas converted all the nation's homes to natural gas in the 1970s.

Centrica said in a statement that replacing the UK's 47 million gas and electricity meters with new smart meters will lead to households using less energy, helped by real time cost information on screen in the home - and saving more money by using appliances at cheaper off-peak times. Smart meters will also bring a transformation in customer service with an end to estimated bills and waiting in for meter readings.
Centrica's British Gas division has the largest smart meter trial in the country with almost 50,000 homes and businesses benefiting from the new technology.

Smart meters open up the possibility of using smart grid technologies capable of turning off electrical appliances such as fridges and washing machines at times of peak energy use and make it easier to manage the electric car recharging infrastructure that is likely to be required if the government's plans for increased use of electric vehicles prove successful.

Sponsored by FLSmidth

Related Articles

The Blockbuster Conundrum

Remember Blockbuster Video? Not too many years ago, Blockbuster was a business titan.

Gaelectric pursues FERC complaint over 460-MW wind project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on April 29 will publish in the Federal Register a notice seeking comment on a complaint filed April 21 against NorthWestern Corp. by the developer of a 460-MW wind farm project in Montana.

Follow Power Engineering on Twitter
Latest News

Westermost Rough offshore wind park enters operations

The 210-MW offshore wind power plant, Westermost Rough, has entered operations. The project w...

Duke Energy to upgrade energy storage system at Notrees Windpower Project

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), Samsung SDI and Younicos will work together to update Duke Energy's ...

Wisconsin Energy acquires Integrys, forms WEC Energy Group

Wisconsin Energy Corp. successfully acquired Integrys Energy - forming the WEC Energy Group (...

Regulator rejects Iberdrola plan to buy Connecticut utility

Connecticut regulators have taken a step toward rejecting a plan by Iberdrola, Spain's leadin...

Largest Southern Co. subsidiary enters rooftop solar market

The largest Southern Co. subsidiary will start selling and installing solar panels on homes W...

Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds wind turbine rules

The Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the state's wind turbine construction rules Tuesday, sayin...

After mercury ruling, higher scrutiny of Obama climate rules

Sweeping pollution limits at the center of President Barack Obama's climate change plan are f...

Coal plant operator says Colstrip remains profitable for now

The formation of a new company to run Montana's largest power plant has raised questions amon...

Power Engineering Current Issue

03/01/2014
Volume 118, Issue 3
1403PE-cover
Products Showcase
Dynamic Fluoride Ion cleaning DFIC of industrial natural gas turbines Hi-Tech Furnace Systems

Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning of IGT Parts

The Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning (DFIC) Process from Hi-Tech Furnace Systems is able to clean deep, narrow cracks of oxides by cycling between negative, atmospheric, and positive pressure.

Archived Articles

2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

Buyers Guide Categories

Buyers Guide Product Listings

Transmission Services

Blattner Energy is a diversified electrical gen...

Sargent & Lundy Engineering & Design Services

Our experience and capabilities for power deliv...
Power Industry Wire News

SafeWorks Acquires DualLift GmbH (DL)

SafeWorks Acquires DualLift GmbH (DL)

NuTech Energy Resources Debuts Trading on OTC Markets

NuTech Energy Resources Debuts Trading on OTC Markets

MyDx to Host Virtual Roadshow on July 15, 2015

MyDx to Host Virtual Roadshow on July 15, 2015

Envision Solar's EV ARC(TM) Is Featured at the International Parking Institute Conference and Expo

Envision Solar's EV ARC(TM) Is Featured at the International Parking Institute Conferen...

EnerJex Resources Declares Monthly Cash Dividend on 10% Series A Preferred Stock

EnerJex Resources Declares Monthly Cash Dividend on 10% Series A Preferred Stock

Power Engineering

Article Archives for Power Engineering Magazine

Continuing Education

Professional Development Hours

To access a course listing associated to a specific topic listed below, click on the topic of choice from the list below.

Latest Energy Jobs

View more Job Listings >>