Industry leader calls for collaboration to realise UK deployment of smart meters

Stephen Cunningham, CEO of Landis+Gyr UK & Ireland, said: “The DECC announcement represents an important turning point in UK energy policy.  It’s been a long time in coming but the industry now has both the directive and core information it needs to prepare for the work that will make the UK a worldwide pioneer of smart metering.

“The Government has set a course for industry to assess and deliver upon.  It is time for the industry to seize the moment and work together on standards development and related requirements in order to deliver on the ambitious target which will see a smart meter in every home and business in little more than a decade.  It is time for action.”

The national deployment of smart meters in the UK was first mooted by Gordon Brown in his Budget address of 2006.  Following a prolonged process of information and evidence collation, the Government has now set out a clear decision on the precise nature of this deployment. Barring an eleventh hour change of tack during this summer’s final consultation process, the industry will move towards supplier-driven smart meter installation and a system of central communications and data management.
In consultation with Government, the industry must now:

  • Map out attainable roll-out milestones
  • Agree on regularity and content of meter readings
  • Agree precise technical specifications for meters
  • Develop a cross-industry model to ensure roll-out is cost and effort optimised
  • Develop and agree objectives for a risk assessment and risk reduction model for the common elements (in-home, WAN, Central Comms etc) of the solution

In addition, there is a requirement for the Government to:

  • Mandate a selection process for a single provider of central communications
  • Finalise meter functionality standards to ensure interoperability and industry-wide collaboration
  • Mandate the body responsible for project managing national deployment
  • Mandate the creation of an enforcement system to ensure targets are met

“Landis+Gyr looks forward to playing a pivotal role in this process”, says Cunningham.  “We have provided the technology behind the majority of the UK smart meter trials which have formed policy.  We also have unrivalled experience of delivering complete smart metering systems worldwide and will work with key stakeholders across the energy industry to ensure that the learning taken from these real life deployments optimises the creation of a successful smart metering ecosystem in the UK.”

With significant technological progress and encouragement from lawmakers and regulators, smart metering is expected to revolutionise energy management and grid reliability across the globe. Smart metering solutions provide utilities with a two-way flow of data required to manage energy use, efficiency and demand response and network protection. Consumers benefit from lower energy costs, and, crucially, a reduced carbon footprint.  All groups can take encouragement from a growing pool of pioneering smart meter projects which are delivering tangible benefits in the here and now, including 30 million meters across Italy and EDF’s trials in France which should lead to the deployment of 35 million meters.