Archive for the ‘Smart gas meters’ 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

Smart gas meters

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

Smart gas meters have had far less focus and have frequently been considered in conjunction with smart electricity meters. Once smart electricity meters are in place the easiest way to provide consumers with consumption information on gas would be for the gas meter to share the electricity meter’s display unit. Rolling out smart electricity meters is therefore the crucial first step in getting smart gas meters and dual fuel households will probably be the initial focus.

Three quarters of domestic carbon emissions come from heating and hot water use, but this consumption will only register with people when their gas consumption is displayed alongside their electricity use. So smart gas meters, with their ability to raise awareness of consumption and to prompt reduced use, will be needed in order to make real inroads into reducing domestic energy use. They will also help to maximise the potential of other smart features, such as intelligent heating controls.

Information on daily gas usage combined with the ability to control it better will have a significant impact on peoples’ consciousness of their heating and hot water use. So far though, little research has been done to explore these savings.