Insights / Latest research says smart meters are on the up

Latest research says smart meters are on the up

24th August 2017

A new report on public awareness of smart meters has been published, showing that 97% of the British public are now aware of smart meters and their benefits.

The findings from the Smart Energy Outlook were hugely positive, with as many as 20 million people reporting their interest in having a smart meter installed within the next six months.

Staff meter reading

With almost seven million smart meters now installed across the UK, the public is knowledgeable about the benefits of smart meters, and positive about the changes that they will bring to the energy industry. The report – which you can read in full here – reveals some other impressive figures: 70% of people with a smart meter feel more in control, while 80% have taken steps to reduce their energy use.

The Smart Energy Outlook report surveyed almost 10,000 people, and it estimates that 55% of adults aged 21 and over in the UK have detailed knowledge about smart meters.

The majority of those were also particularly aware of smart meters displaying near-live consumption of energy and its equivalent cost in pounds and pence. In fact, the report found that 60% of people surveyed cited the live-cost aspect as a ‘key benefit’ of smart meters.

Facts and figures from the Smart Energy Outlook report

The roll-out of smart meters is one of the central pillars of Ofgem’s Smarter Markets programme, an overhaul which is bringing the national energy network into the digital age.

The Smarter Markets programme has been split into key areas of focus, with the overall objective of making the energy market more efficient and dynamic, enabling consumers to make informed decisions about their energy consumption by making the system more accessible and intuitive.

Ofgem has produced an interactive infographic which you can see here.

What are the Smarter Markets Programme aims?

Consumer empowerment and protection

As the regulatory body of gas and electricity suppliers, Ofgem wants to ensure that customer interests are protected.

As such, one of the central aims of the Smarter Markets Programme is to ensure that energy suppliers provide consumers with innovative products and better customer service.

Smart meters will lead to fairer and more accurate billing while also helping consumers to understand how to reduce their consumption and work towards more sustainable energy usage.

Electricity system flexibility

Ensuring the future stability of the electrical network means that work is underway to ensure that the network is prepared for the growing role of renewable sources and other issues.

This means developing more efficient generation and consumption patterns to build towards a flexible system which includes storage, demand-side response and distributed generation.

Demand-side response gives consumers the option of signing up to a different tariff which will reward them for adjusting their electricity usage. You can read more here.

Distributed generation will involve developing more local generation to reduce the costs of transporting electricity across the country, helping to bring more renewable energy online. You can read more here.

Electricity settlement

Electricity settlement will be streamlined by the roll-out of smart meters and the introduction of a new half-hourly settlement model.

Half-hourly settlement will allow energy suppliers to see energy consumption data in greater detail, allowing for more accurate forecasting. This could lead to improvements in energy efficiency for both customers and suppliers.

This is seen by Ofgem as an essential step towards protecting consumer interests, with the added benefit that more accurate readings necessarily lead to more accurate billing, eliminating (or at least reducing) estimated billing practices.

Retail market review

The retail market review was conducted from 2010-2013, introduced reforms across the business energy market. These changes included the introduction of clearer and simpler processes and fairer treatment for small businesses, as well as revising the microbusiness definition.

How do I get a smart meter?

If you are an Opus Energy customer, you can contact us to arrange an appointment to install a free smart meter.

You can reach us on by calling 0843 227 2377, or by filling out the online form on our website.

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