Smart meters are on the way

Published:  20 May, 2009

WORCESTER: A manufacturer of high-efficiency boilers and renewable technologies has labelled the Government's move toward the installation of smart meters "good news" for consumers. But, it is worried that …

the delay in implementation is a missed opportunity to encourage the public to upgrade inefficient heating systems. 

The proposals for smart meters in every home by 2020 will leave far too many consumers in the dark over their energy usage for the next decade. According to Worcester, Bosch Group, there are still 17 million standard efficiency boilers in use in the UK.

Neil Schofield, head of sustainable development at Worcester, commented: "Anything that makes energy usage more transparent for the consumer is good news, but the delay is a missed opportunity.

"We believe that only a transparent correlation between daily energy usage and the final bill will encourage consumers to grasp the nettle on the key environmental issue – the replacement of standard efficiency boilers, which are both expensive and environmentally unfriendly."

The smart meters, he explained, will allow suppliers to remotely record customers' gas and electricity usage, and let consumers see how much energy they are using. Some 26 million electricity and 22 million gas meters will need to be fitted at a cost of £7bn.

"The current metering system is too opaque for the average consumer. That leaves them unable to equate daily usage with their final bill," Mr Schofield stated.<

"This is a contributor to consumers being unwilling to upgrade to high efficiency boilers and renewable technologies. Smart meters will bring transparency, but unfortunately the delay in implementation will leave far too many in the dark over their energy consumption for the next decade."

He added that Schofield ideally, by 2020, the meters should also be able to record the carbon footprint of individual homes.

"The day is coming when we will be asked to account for our individual carbon generation. Armed with this information, consumers will be further encouraged to embrace renewable technologies."

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