Smart meters are replacing traditional energy meters across Great Britain as part of an essential infrastructure upgrade that will make our energy system cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable. They are modernising the energy infrastructure by ending manual meter reads, delivering accurate bills. To achieve this, consumers must continue to be at the heart of the roll out. The Government is committed to ensuring that an effective strategy for consumer engagement is in place, which supports uptake of smart meters and enables consumers to realise the full range of benefits.
The programme of national engagement to raise awareness of smart meters, drive behaviour change and help consumers benefit from smart metering has so far been led by the not-for-profit organisation, Smart Energy GB. As a result of its successful campaigning, awareness and understanding of smart meters has risen steadily over time, with 95% of people across Great Britain now aware of smart meters. In addition, most consumers are satisfied with their smart meters and many are advocates of the technology, with nearly two thirds of smart meter owners indicating they would recommend getting one.
The Government’s decision to introduce an obligation on energy suppliers to continue the roll out of smart meters beyond 2020 also confirmed that Smart Energy GB should continue as the body responsible for leading coordinated consumer engagement activities. It is now consulting on a number of proposals to update Smart Energy GB’s objectives, strengthen its governance framework and revise its funding model, to focus on supporting the next phase of the roll out. The proposals aim to further strengthen consumer engagement approaches to support the achievement of market-wide roll out.
This consultation seeks views on proposed amendments to Smart Energy GB’s objectives and broader activities, together with their governance and funding arrangements, as set out in energy supply licences. There are 3 areas of focus:
Given that Smart Energy GB is uniquely placed to support increased coordination between energy suppliers in areas where there are opportunities for efficiencies and increased smart meter uptake, it is proposed that a new objective to establish appropriate arrangements to enable a greater focus on collaboration is introduced.
- To further empower Smart Energy GB’s Board, it is also proposed that it will be required to be responsible for establishing and maintaining a Performance Management Framework (including both domestic and non-domestic standards).
- To ensure a proportionate funding model is in place, in line with wider retail energy market developments, it is proposed that the threshold for large energy suppliers that contribute to the funding of Smart Energy GB’s domestic campaign activities be reduced from 250,000 to 150,000 gas and/or electricity domestic consumers.
To enable sufficient time for implementation, it is proposed that the transition to the new arrangements will be completed place by 31 December 2021.
We fully support the roll out of smart meters across both the domestic and non-domestic markets and believe that if we are to reduce energy use in all buildings, the user must have sight and understanding of the data provided by smart meters. We are formulating our response to the consultation and would welcome any thoughts you may have on the proposed areas of improvement. The consultation closes on 13 August 2020. To have your say, please email the compliance team at email@example.com or to discuss this further please call Melanie Kendall-Reid on 01252 87 87 22.