smart meters
This blog marks three months into my advocacy for the British Gas Smart Meters campaign, and – wonderfully – the focus has now switched from just the United Kingdom to (insert booming Hollywood voice) the wooooorldddddd. With ‘smart meter’ initiatives underway around the world, conservative forecasts now estimate that between 90 and 130 million meters will be installed worldwide every year until 2022. Italy is actually leading the way in this respect, with more than 94% of Italian households now owning smart meters (that totals up to an incredible 37 million households).

The global scale of the smart meter revolution has, obviously, instigated some great changes in the UK, as well. Customer-Led Network Revolution Northern Powergrid is now implementing a Customer-Led Network Revolution (CLNR) programme to trial a number of smart grid solutions and energy efficient technologies (such as solar PV panels, heat pumps, electric vehicles and the installation of 14,000 smart meters) in the North East and Yorkshire. As well as trialling ‘time-of-use’ tariffs to encourage the use of electricity during off peak periods, the programme will also deploy new technology on the electricity network and implement commercial solutions such as tariffs and different pricing structures.

London is already on course to save £219m though the smart meter revolution, making it quite easy to see why the global rollout of smart meters is essential to the development of a sustainable planet.

For that omnipresent ‘Christmas Spirit’ we keep hearing about, high energy bills act as a rather shady kryptonite. We search for warmth in our mulled wine, our onesies, and even with each other…but that energy bill still has the power to leave us chilled. When British Gas recently contacted me about their smart meters and the major effect they have on our relationship with energy, I could almost feel my house warming up with appreciation. If you have yet to hear of the life-changing British Gas smart meters, you will be interested in finding out that British Gas have essentially created a device which aims to put each of their customers in control of their very own energy consumption.

The meters feature a super-smart energy monitor that shows exactly the amount of energy that is being used at any given time. Gas and electricity consumption is shown in pounds and pence and kWh/CO2 can be tracked overtime. For those of us that barely take a peek at our meters – come on, they’re hidden under the stairs (next to Harry Potter)! – this creates an entirely new experience.

The smart meters look fairly similar to our traditional devices, but British Gas’ clever tech update communicates to an in-home display unit (a Smart Energy Monitor) and therefore offers you an instant view of your energy consumption for both gas and electricity. As part of its ongoing commitment to a Smart Energy Future, British Gas commissioned Oxford Economics to investigate the value of smart metering to Britain. The results were rather impressive and reported that British homes and businesses could be almost £14 billion better off with folks using smart meters. The report also analyzes the costs and benefits of smart meters from 2012 to 2030 and finds that whilst the national roll-out will cost £11.5 billion, the benefits of smart meter usage could total £25.3 billion. Under this research, British Gas have committed to providing smart meters in all homes by 2019. We’re looking at: – £11.2 billion in energy savings for households and businesses.

The report finds that smart meters, by helping households and businesses see the energy they use and by providing personalised energy advice, will help save the average household 5% (around £60) on their yearly bill. – £10.7 billion in efficiency savings for energy suppliers. With the British energy market being one the most competitive in the world, the report expects much of these savings will be passed onto consumers giving them additional reductions on their energy bills. – £3.2 billion in generation related savings. Lower energy demand from smart metering reduces the amount of energy generated and used for consumption in Britain. The savings will be made from reduced costs around the trading of carbon. Saving money and energy is obviously a great help to both the individual and environment, so I am super excited to see what kind of impact this has when it starts to spread in the mainstream.

Click here to take a further look at the smart meters and pre-register for one of your own. (When your home is ready for an upgrade, British Gas will contact you!)

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