Thursday, 20 January 2011

The effectiveness of smart metering will depend on key decisions

There is widespread anticipation about the benefits of smart metering
. Consumers will get timely and
accurate bills and have the tools to manage, understand and reduce their
energy consumption; utilities will have reduced billing costs and can
benefit from enhanced customer engagement. But, there are many decisions
along the way that could impact these outcomes.

Here is a dystopian picture of the future in which a catalogue of wrong
turns and missed opportunities have rendered the smart meter roll out
ineffective. It is 2020 and Smart Metering hasn't been rolled out across the UK. It all
went wrong. Why?

The energy select committee reviewed the government's plans for a mandated
smart metering roll-out. They were very critical of the mandating of energy
displays as the sole means of providing information to the customer, noting
that a piece of paper was a much cheaper universal requirement, and that the
competitive market should be left to fight over web services, displays, and
information through smart phones, etc.

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