Public engagement key to smart meter success

The Energy and Climate Change Select Committee has expressed concerns that approximately just 50% of the public have heard of smart meters and not all of them support the roll-out.

The Committee warns that if engagement levels do not increase and people refuse to allow smart meters to be installed in their home, the roll-out may be hindered and consumers may not benefit from the technology.

Worries have surfaced as a result of evidence from the committee’s recent consumer engagement inquiry.

The committee, which will monitor progress towards delivering the smart meter roll-out, has invited written evidence on a selection of questions regarding the roll-out.

Questions include whether or not the Government’s cost and timescale predictions for roll-out are realistic and whether it would deliver value for money.

It also asked whether the Government’s cost and timescale predictions for roll-out realistic and whether it would deliver value for money.

According to the committee, smart meters and smart grids have the potential to bring many benefits to the energy industry and to consumers.

It claims for example that energy suppliers will benefit from reduced operating and generation costs, and some of these savings should be passed on to consumers through lower energy prices.

In addition, consumers are also expected to benefit from using the information about energy use provided by the in-home display to reduce their energy consumption and save money on their energy bills.

A week ago it was announced that the roll-out of smart meters for millions of businesses and households had taken a step forward with the publication of Government decisions on consumer engagement, privacy and security.  

Conor McGlone

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