Consumer engagement vital for smart meter rollout
Plans for the installation of smart meters for millions of homes and businesses in Great Britain have taken a step forward with the publication of Government decisions on rules for consumer engagement, privacy, and security.
Energy and climate change minister, Baroness Verma, said: “The introduction of smart meters nationwide is of course an enormous challenge, representing a vast upgrade of our energy system, but with huge potential benefits for millions of homes and businesses and for Great Britain as a whole.
“Let me be clear: the consumer comes first. That’s why we are tackling issues such as privacy, security, consumer protection and communications now, working with industry and consumer groups to make sure we get this right ahead of the mass rollout.”
Energy suppliers will be responsible for replacing over 53 million gas and electricity meters, involving visits to 30 million homes and small businesses. The mass rollout of smart meters will start in late 2014 and is scheduled to be completed in 2019.
Sean Weir, Arqiva’s programme director, commented: “A comprehensive consumer engagement effort is needed for the smart meter rollout. The smart metering programme’s success depends on a high level of consumer engagement, both before and after installation. Consumers will benefit more from smart meters if they understand the opportunities to reduce their energy bills and change their energy use.”