Archive for the ‘Department of Energy and Climate Change’ Category

Smart electricity and gas meters

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Department of Energy and Climate Change

Smart electricity and gas meters

In October 2008 the Government announced its intention to mandate a roll out of electricity and gas smart meters to all homes in Great Britain. The aim is to complete the roll out by the end of 2020. The roll out of smart meters will be a major national project. It will involve a visit to every home and the replacement of some 47 million gas and electricity meters.

Smart meters pave the way for a transformation in the way energy is supplied and used. They will provide consumers with real-time information about energy use enabling them to monitor and manage their use. Consumers will receive accurate bills. Switching between suppliers will be smoother and faster and improvements in the delivery of energy efficiency advice will be supported.

Energy suppliers will be able to offer a wider range of services and tariffs and to manage their customer relationships better. Smart meters will also be an important step towards the development of a smart grid. Delivering improved network efficiency and responsiveness.

Smart meters will play an important role in our transition to a low-carbon economy. They will help us meet some of the long-term challenges we face in ensuring that Great Britain has an affordable, secure and sustainable energy supply.


In May 2009 the Government consulted on proposals relating to the roll-out of smart meters to households and small and medium non-domestic sites. The consultation addressed some of the fundamental issues for the roll out. The Government’s response to the consultation was published on 2 December 2009. The response sets out the Government’s conclusions and decisions following the consultation, in particular its conclusions on:

  • delivery model for domestic smart meters (Section 2)
  • high-level smart functionality requirements for domestic electricity and gas meters (Section 3)
  • provision of a real-time display and information with a smart meter (Section 3)
  • approach on smart functionality requirements for non-domestic meters (Section 4)
  • implementation programme (Section 6)

In addition revised Impact Assessments for the domestic and non-domestic roll outs, and supporting analytical consultancy work have been published.

All documents relating to the consultation are available on the Consultation on Smart Metering for electricity and gas web page.

Implementation programme

The decisions set out in the Government’s response provide the platform for the detailed work to prepare the way for the start of the mandated roll out of smart meters (section 6). The implementation of smart metering will be the largest and most complex change-over programme in the energy industry since the switch to North Sea gas in the sixties and seventies. It will have a profound impact on the services that consumers receive from energy companies, as well as on vital activities such as settlement and network management.

A major central programme is required to design and implement new cross-industry arrangements, in co-ordination with the change programmes which industry participants will need to implement themselves. This Implementation Programme will touch all parts of the energy industry and careful design and planning are needed to maximise the benefits to consumers and industry, while driving down on the costs of installing and operating the new smart meters.

The first phase of the Smart Metering Programme will be a joint DECC / Ofgem initiative. DECC will chair an over-arching DECC / Ofgem Strategic Programme Board. This Board will provide the necessary strategic oversight and direction to the Programme during Phase 1. It will provide a high-level forum for ensuring the Programme is aligned with Government policy objectives for smart metering and Ofgem’s statutory duties, and consider interfaces with the Government’s wider policies.

Ofgem E-Serve[external Link] will manage and ensure effective delivery of the first phase of the Programme for DECC. Ofgem’s detailed knowledge of the workings of the energy market, its strong relationships with industry players and consumer bodies and its regulatory role, mean it is ideally placed to help design the arrangements for introducing smart metering effectively into the complex structure of the energy industry.

Briefing event

Ofgem will be hosting a stakeholder event on 16 December which will provide a briefing on initial plans for the Smart Metering Implementation Programme. Invitations for this event will be sent out separately by Ofgem.

Related documents

02 December 2009 – Press Release – UK energy system gets smart

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Department of Energy and Climate Change

02 December 2009 – Press Release – UK energy system gets smart

  • All homes will have smart meters from their supplier by end of 2020
  • Smart energy use will save consumers money, make electricity use more efficient and cut carbon emissions
  • The case for developing smart grids in the UK is also being published
  • £6 million to develop smart technology

Smart meters will be rolled out through energy suppliers to every home by the end of 2020 under final plans published today by Energy and Climate Change Minister Lord Hunt. A paper setting out the case for developing smart grids in the UK is also being published.

Lord Hunt said:

“A global climate deal in Copenhagen needs all countries to make the most ambitious commitments possible, but it will also require all of us to change how we lead our lives and how we generate our energy.

“Smart meters will put the power in people’s hands, enabling us all to control how much energy we use, cut emissions and cut bills.

“Smart grids will help manage the massive shift to low carbon electricity such as wind, nuclear and clean fossil fuels.

“Globally the business of developing smart grids has been estimated at £27 billion over the next 5 years and the UK has the know-how to be part of that.”

The Government’s response to the smart meter consultation sets out how smart meters will be rolled out across Britain by the end of 2020. This includes:

  • Making energy suppliers responsible for installing smart meters in their customers’ homes
  • Supplying a standalone display device with meters to make it easy for consumers to see and understand their energy use and carbon emissions in real time
  • Centrally coordinating the communications between smart meters and the utility companies to ensure easy switching between suppliers, and to provide a platform for the development of smarter grids in the future.

“Smarter Grids: The Opportunity”, also published today, makes the case for developing smart grids in the UK. Smart grids will give operators and consumers much more information about supply and demand of electricity – enabling more effective interaction between consumer needs and fluctuating supplies.

Specifically smart grids will:

  • Deliver electricity more efficiently and reliably – reducing the costs and emissions from electricity generation and transmission
  • Facilitate increased generation of low carbon electricity sources such as wind
  • With smart meters, give consumers more control and choice of when they use electricity allowing them to save money.

DECC is also providing £6 million to companies to continue developing smart technology such as electricity storage.

Notes to editors

  1. The response to the consultation: Towards a Smarter Future: government response to the consultation on electricity and gas Smart Metering can be found here:
  2. The publication: Smarter grids: the opportunity can be found here:
  3. The Department of Energy and Climate Change is central to the UK Government’s leadership on climate change. We are pushing hard for an ambitious global deal in Copenhagen in December to avert the most dangerous impacts. Through our UK Low Carbon Transition Plan we are giving householders and businesses the incentives and advice they need to cut their emissions, we are enabling the energy sector’s shift to the trinity of renewables, new nuclear and clean coal, and we are stepping up the fight against fuel poverty.