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
Written by Natasha Lomas, Contributor

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."

Editorial standards