The Value of a Smart Meter Roll Out
If you’re aware of Tempus’ journey these past two years you’re wondering why we’ve posted an article on smart meters. The large energy users we are working with in Australia have building management systems (a much more complex type of smart meter), and we focus on integrating our technology rather than installing this equipment. We see this as a positive step as it speeds up the process, delivers significant savings and proves demand flexibility is the key to decarbonisation.
But, our original goal will always hold true – we need to create a smart energy system that empowers the customer to be flexible. The existing system is not yielding the value for customers - we are being blocked from even the knowledge of that value.
One of the technologies that will enable us to achieve a smart grid is the introduction of smart meters and their ability to convert energy readings to half hourly settled amounts, improving accuracy and collecting data for the use of improvement (not spying).
Unfortunately, the road to a smart meter rollout has been a long, complicated and largely misinformed one. The UK has a history of electricity suppliers working solely for their own gains, which has created hostility from customers and we feel helpless in our quest for accurate and fair energy bills. It is no surprise we rarely love our electricity supplier, and this needs to change.
Smart meters & demand flexibility
One of the key technologies for a smart grid is Demand Flexibility. The path to utilising this technology starts when energy usage becomes transparent and up to date. In order to move demand, we first need to know when it is being used and how. The ultimate goal is to create a more efficient system that automatically aligns with cheap, clean renewables, without disturbing your routine.
Our Smart Meter Myth Buster
What is a smart meter?
A smart meter is designed to send automatic digital meter readings to your energy provider. It basically does the job of the meter reader you let into your home every six months but on a far more frequent and accurate level.
Will I have to pay for the smart reader?
There is no upfront cost of the meter, but the cost of this will be wrapped up in your monthly electricity bills. This is no different to what has happened with past electricity meters; your electricity company is not going to give you something for nothing, as much as they might like to market it that way!
What benefits will I see?
Employing and sending out meter readers to every home twice a year is very costly, smart meters will remove the need for this and reduce costs that should then be passed on to the customer. Whether it will be passed on to you will depend on your electricity supplier.
Aside from this, you will have access to much more accurate usage data that can allow you to make sure you are on the best tariff. Smart meters remove the need for estimates and allow you to know exactly what you are using. It means that there will be no big surprise bills when your supplier has the wrong information. It puts the control in the hands of customers to make informed decisions on our energy usage.
Can the data from my smart meter be shared?
Data from your smart meter is covered under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and as with other sensitive information, such as your banking, your smart meter will be protected by advanced security and encryption technology to safeguard your data.
Are smart meters all about reducing energy usage?
The answer is in the name - ‘smart’ meters are not about penalising every pot of tea you make, they are designed to help make smarter decisions on how we use and supply energy.
The information they generate will also allow for a far more advanced system that enables innovative time of day tariffs. The customers that choose to move (not reduce) their energy usage will save money.
With the advancement of technology, energy has become a vital commodity that enables our way of life, but we are needing increasing amounts of it to sustain this demand and we can no longer deny the impact this is having on our planet.
The need for a smarter electricity grid, which shows transparent usage and accurate pricing is crucial now. Its implementation should allow us to decarbonise at the fastest rate possible and avoid the devastation of climate change which burning fossil fuel in traditional power stations is causing.
With the information smart meters generate we will have the tools to deploy new innovative technologies, optimise our electricity grid and make it work for customers and the planet.