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Britain leading smart energy revolution

The first ‘next generation’ smart meters are set to be installed in homes and small businesses across Britain and one of the companies driving the rollout believe that the UK is on the leading edge of the technology. New-style smart meters will help individuals unlock huge cost savings and will lead to a more efficient energy system. They are also a necessary precursor to new, smarter energy products like time-of-use tariffs and innovative peer-to-peer energy trading schemes. Landis+Gyr are world leaders in smart metering and smart grid technology and have worked with British Gas to launch the first second-generation SMETS2 devices in the UK. The Swiss-headquartered company has chosen to locate its gas and electricity smart meter research facilities in the UK to serve the advanced smart metering market here. Stephen Cunningham, Senior Vice President of Landis+Gyr in EMEA said: "We are delighted to announce this important industry 'first' and to be able to bring this leading-edge technology to UK homes and businesses. We are very proud to have supported UK plc by carrying out all of the R&D for this landmark technology here in the UK."

New SMETS2 meters

British Gas is the first UK energy supplier to install the next generation of smart meters. These new meters meet a new set of specifications known as SMETS2 (smart metering equipment technical specifications 2). The new meters have a number of important advantages over first-generation SMETS1 meters. Critically, the meters act as the basic infrastructure necessary for a renewable energy revolution. In the future, the meters will change the way we consume energy and make the energy network more efficient. For now, the new meters iron out some of the problems with the old meters. First, they enable seamless switching between suppliers and don’t become ‘dumb’ if a user switches their energy supplier. The new meters also offer a higher degree of security, adding a layer of protection to household and business data.

Smart energy revolution

Smart meters collect data, enabling homeowners and businesses to understand and alter their energy consumption habits. But with the next generation of smart meters, this data can go further and can be used to harness household solar power, battery packs, and electric vehicle charging systems. The rollout of smart energy meters is an important precursor to achieving a smart and efficient smart grid. In future, with more widespread adoption of solar panels and batteries, more homes and businesses will become energy suppliers as well as consumers. The new smart meters will allow distribution network operators to monitor changes in supply - including supply from individual solar panels – and demand. They will help eliminate waste in the energy system, reducing the need for new power stations and cutting down on our reliance on imported energy from abroad. In the future, smart meters will also help us save money because linked up smart appliances will be able to communicate with smart meters. As time-of-use tariffs are rolled out, smart meters will be able to tell appliances when to turn on to take advantage of cheaper energy. For example, a smart meter may tell a pre-loaded washing machine to turn on in the middle of the night when demand on the rest of the grid is at its lowest point. Smart meters can also be used to control the charging of electric vehicles to get the best value for money from the smart energy grid.

Published by Utility Helpline on (modified )