Nora Blascsok reports back from the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand (CIED) event on ‘The smart meter rollout: progress and challenges ahead‘. On 19 November consumer rights group Which? published a report warning energy suppliers that they need to triple the current rate of smart meter installation to meet the target of replacing existing meters in every UK home by 2020. This would mean installing 30 smart meters per minute every day for the next two years to replace the existing 46 million meters, which is a challenge to say the least. Back in August 2018, Citizens Advice was already calling for the deadline to be extended for another three years. The same day the Which? report came out, the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand (CIED) hosted an event bringing together key stakeholders to discuss the progress of the smart meter rollout, its challenges and opportunities; and how the technology can contribute to the low carbon transition. A panel of speakers from Citizens Advice, Smart Energy GB, the Energy Saving Trust and energy supplier Npower all provided their perspective on the Smart Meter Implementation Programme (SMIP), the largest government-run information technology project in history. A key topic of discussion at the event was how the rollout is communicated in mainstream media. Despite its challenges, participants agreed that the rollout can be regarded a success, however, stakeholders needed to come together and create a positive narrative, a message to consumers they all can get behind. This message should emphasize the fact that smart meters are a step towards a better future and a technology that will empower consumers to participate in the new energy world.
SPRU 30th Nov 2018 read more »