Brits back smart meter rollout, survey finds

The vast majority of the UK population with a smart meter are in high approval of the technology, according to new research from the independent body in charge of the British rollout.

Smart Energy GB’s latest survey shows that 82% of people with a smart meter have taken at least one step to reduce their energy use, while 81% would recommend the device to others. This follows research which highlighted that most Britain’s business leaders support the rollout of the technology.

“It’s great to see so many people using and loving their smart meters,” Smart Energy GB chief executive Sacha Deshmukh said. “Eight out of 10 say they would recommend one, which is an exceptionally high level of approval.

“Millions of homes are already enjoying the benefits of accurate bills and the ability to see, in pounds and pence, how much gas and electricity they are using. I hope that many more people pick up the phone to ask their energy supplier for their smart meter, so that they too can start enjoying these benefits.”

Robust energy system

Five million smart meters have been installed across the UK. Every household and small business will be offered one by 2020 for “no additional cost”, with the full national rollout expected to begin at the end of September. Smart meters measure the total energy used in the same way as a traditional meter, but they can also track when energy is used and how much it costs, highlighting opportunities for savings.

Smart Energy GB’s latest research shows the importance of in-home displays (IHDs) – which shows the customer on a screen how much energy they use in real time – in helping people get their gas and electricity under control. Eight in 10 people with an IHD use it on a regular basis, according to the group, while 88% say they have a better idea of what they’re spending money on, as opposed to 76% who have a smart meter but no IHD.

Opponents have attacked the smart meter rollout for being too complex and costly. However, many observers have claimed the technology will play an important role in driving a resilient UK energy system. Smart Energy GB’s recent report stated that the integration of smart technology will lead to UK cities embracing renewable energy sources as part of a transition to smart cities.

George Ogleby

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