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Smart meters promised for UK homes by 2020

Enabling the real-time transmission of gas and electricity meter readings to the utility means companies can save on manual checks and customers can manage consumption
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Written by Natasha Lomas on

The government has launched a consultation on plans to install smart meters in every UK home by 2020.

Smart meters utilise machine-to-machine comms to enable the real-time transmission of gas and electricity meter readings to the utility — meaning companies don't need to send out staff to check meters manually. They can also deliver real-time information on energy use and encourage customers to manage and reduce their consumption.

The consultation, which runs until 3 August, invites feedback on the type of energy consumption data that should be provided to consumers to maximise 'engagement' with the tech, and also on the government's plan to provide a real-time display with each smart meter in order to maximise environmental and energy-saving benefits.

It states: "The government believes smart meters will both change our energy habits in the short term and provide an essential stepping stone to smart grids in the future" — where micro-generation of renewable energy at household and/or community level feeds into and bolsters the national grid.

The consultation also solicits views on different rollout models for the tech.

Energy and Climate Change secretary Ed Miliband said in a statement: "This is a big project affecting 26 million homes and several million businesses, so it's important we design a system that brings best value to everyone involved."

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