UK smart meters will soon be indispensable

Share |

23 July 2014, Gas, Electricity

oilandgasobserver archive

Unsurprisingly, the number of smart meters deployed in commercial properties exceeds residential properties. In Q1 2014, 492,200 commercial smart meters were active. Thus far the benefit of being able to easily and clearly monitor costs seems to be more appealing to businesses than to homeowners.

Applying some simple mathematics, approximately 1 million smart meters are presently active in the UK. Therefore approximately 52 million UK properties have yet to receive smart meters. Assuming 200,000 smart meters will be installed in the second half of 2014, 51.8 million properties will still need smart meters. There are 24 quarters before 2020 comes to an end. This equates to an average quarterly installation rate of 2.2 million smart meters for the next six years, not including any installed smart meters that need to be replaced.

The Big Six energy providers have made various noises regarding the rollout of smart meters. British Gas has been the most active in distributing information about its smart meter implementation and has installed the greatest number of smart meters, although some of these will need to be replaced by 2020 as they are now not considered "smart" by new government legislation.

British Gas's strength seems to be in highlighting to customers the fact that they are entitled to smart meters, and do not need to purchase them. npower is also echoing the same message, while the remaining four energy providers have stayed remarkably quiet on this key point. Both British Gas and npower are using Trilliant's energy communication platform for their smart metering. Both the inclusion of free energy reports and an energy monitor display may prove enticing to some people.

All the main energy providers will be offering smart energy monitors or devices with the installation of a property's smart meter. It will be fascinating to see whether consumers develop a preference for certain displays or monitors. npower will be providing Google's recently acquired Nest thermostats at a discounted rate to its customers, and this stylish, easy to use home interface could prove a winner for attracting new customers with its smart meter rollouts.

Source: MarketLine

More Gas Commentary

More Electricity Commentary

Recent commentary