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£6M to develop smart meters

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has set aside £6M to develop smart meters, which are due to be fitted in all homes by 2020.

Smart meters will save consumers money and reduce overall use of electricity, helping to cut overall carbon emissions. The scheme is expected to cost some £8.5bn, but is projected to make far greater savings.

Energy minister Lord Hunt said: “A global climate deal in Copenhagen needs all countries to make the most ambitious commitments possible, but it will also require all of us to change how we lead our lives and how we generate our energy.

“Smart meters will put the power in people’s hands, enabling us all to control how much energy we use, cut emissions and cut bills. Smart grids will help manage the massive shift to low carbon electricity such as wind, nuclear and clean fossil fuels.

“Globally the business of developing smart grids has been estimated at £27 billion over the next 5 years and the UK has the know-how to be part of that.”

“Smarter Grids: The Opportunity”, also published today, makes the case for developing smart grids in the UK. Smart grids will give operators and consumers much more information about supply and demand of electricity – enabling more effective interaction between consumer needs and fluctuating supplies.

Specifically smart grids will:

Deliver electricity more efficiently and reliably - reducing the costs and emissions from electricity generation and transmission

Facilitate increased generation of low carbon electricity sources such as wind.

Readers' comments (2)

  • The cost of installing smart meteres will be paid for by the consumer. Assuming 26 million households the cost per household is about £330. The estimated saving per household is less than £30 per year. It will therfore be over 11 years before the consumer sees any benefit. Initially having a meter display will encourage some to turn off appliances and thus save some electricity but once the novely has worn off consumption will return to present levels. This seems to be an awfull lot of effort with minimal return.
    I fail to see how installing smart meters facilitates the increased use of low carbon electricity sources. Perhaps someone could enlighten me.

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  • Smart metering will have to interface with smart appliances. The meter will tell a smart appliance when to turn on and off. A global standard will have to be set. The Copenhagen summit should address this and rather than standing alone we in the UK should help our industry to manufacture these meters here and not in Switzerland or the far east. We could lead the world given a government lead.

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