53 Million Smart Meters Planned In U.K.

The United Kingdom’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has set the goal of installing 53 million smart meters in 30 million homes over the next eight years. The department claims the national roll out will save the country almost $12 billion over the next twenty years.

The roll out of smart meters across England will happen over two phases, the first being the testing and planning stage, of which the government is currently operating under, that seeks to ensure positive consumer engagement and educate ratepayers on the benefits of the technology. According to the government, by 2020 consumers will save an average of $37 per year due to smart meter implementation. While the estimated savings are nice, the dollar amount is hardly significant.

Oncor Smart Meter

image via Oncor

The second phase of the UK plan will be mass rollout of smart meter devices, and is expected to start in early 2014 with completion by 2019. The DECC has been working on the program since July of 2010, and has solicited feedback from a variety of organizations. The full plan of England’s smart meter rollout can be downloaded as a 60-page PDF document from the government’s website.

Meanwhile, in the United States, studies are showing the smart grid concept may not quite be ready for mass consumer adoption without more education.

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Aaron Colter is a freelance writer and marketing consultant in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Purdue University, he has worked for the NCAA, Dark Horse Comics, Willamette Week, AOL, The Huffington Post, Top Shelf Productions, DigitalTrends, theMIX agency, SuicideGirls, EarthTechling, d'Errico Studios and others. He is also the co-founder of BananaStandMedia.com, a free record label, recording studio, and distribution service for independent musicians.

    • Guest

      I was offered a smart meter by British gas last year and I turned it down. I would urge anyone who is offered this type of meter to read the small print carefully. These smart meters can be switched from monthly/quarterly payments to a pre-payment system without changing the meter. Make a late payment to your utility company and you may find you will have to trot along to the local corner shop to buy your gas/electricity which costs 10% more (the retailers commission) and will wipe out any savings that you may make by using a smart meter. These meters will be detrimental to families on low incomes.

    • BG_employee

      Smart Meters are a serious threat to freedom and liberty. They are big brother in your home invading your privacy and very personal data. The state will get all information from your home, not just energy consumption, but from every device. The state can send commands to your home, for example you can’t use your washing machine from 7pm to 9pm Monday to Friday. This has nothing to do with caring for the environment or saving people money (if they ever do that) but everything to do with invading every aspect of people’s lives.