Solutions Inspired Ltd

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Smart Meters

Smart Meters are sophisticated meters that assess the energy consumption in properties. Smart Meters installed by our electricians assess consumption in greater detail and can communicate important information through a network to the utility company. This enables better monitoring and billing capabilities to manage the consumption of energy and therefore provide positive environmental benefits.

Smart Meters are part of the Energy Saving Electrical Installations that our electricians can assist you with. In May 2009, the UK government issued plans for the installation of smart meters in every domestic property by the end of 2020. Our team of qualified electricians are currently working closely in conjunction with a number of utility companies for the installation of Smart Meters. At present the projected cost of installing approx 26 million electricity meters and 22 million gas meters is approximately £7 billion. See other Energy Saving Legislation and the Carbon Reduction Commitment.

The government’s focus on domestic Smart Meter installations is at the forefront of the directive, however commercial installations are just as important given the energy saving and environmental implications. Solutions Inspired Ltd electricians can service the more advanced and innovative smart metering required for businesses to monitor their electricity usage.

Energy companies will be responsible for the project management of Smart Meter Installations, which will be the biggest programme of work since the natural gas conversion took place during the 1970s.

Our electricians will provide information on the implications for consumers. Sources suggest the project could amount to a cost of £15 per household per year between 2010 and 2020. However £10 of that will be apportioned to cost savings by the suppliers. The customer will cover the remaining £5, however the average consumer will potentially save 2% - 3% off their energy usage per annum and therefore reduce their energy bills by £25 - £35.

Smart Meter Technology

Smart Meters are similar to interval or time-of-use meters and include real-time or close to real-time sensors. They provide power outage notification in conjunction with power quality monitoring as your Solutions Inspired Ltd electrician will confirm. These specialised features offer greater flexibility than conventional automated meter reading (AMR). Smart Meters offer much of the functionality of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) meters.

Smart Meters installations by qualified electricians provide cost advantages over traditional interval or time-of-use meters. Smart Meters have been designed for use on a broad scale with residential and commercial customers. Interval and time-of-use meters installed by our electricians were typically installed to measure commercial and industrial energy usage. They do not provide the Smart Meter automated meter reading (AMR) functionality.

Smart Meters installed by our electricians provide data analysis capabilities. The local data display in the customer’s house provides data in a meaningful form to the consumer and will play a vital part in the smart housing solution of the future. Smart Meter installations by our electricians can provide the following:

  • The transfer of useful consumption data to the supplier for the purposes of providing accurate charges and no one has to access the home to retrieve the data.
  • A payment facility for single or multiple suppliers.
  • A measurement tool, which means that information can be recorded to assess the continuity and quality of supply.
  • When correctly installed by an electrician, data can be used by the distribution network to assess the system operations, planning and loss assessment.
  • Remote control capabilities of the specific consumer circuits for the purposes of specified load management.
  • Display alerts for price variations at different time periods, which assists in the provision of cost reflective tariffs.
  • Allows tariffs, debt and other rates to be changed remotely, so there is no requirement for access to the home.

Smart Meter Market

Electricity deregulation and the related aspects of market-driven pricing in world economies have encouraged governments to monitor consumption and generation. Conventional electrical meters can only measure the total consumption and do not provide information on the time of energy consumption. Smart Meters can measure this information when correctly installed by an electrician, which means different prices can be applied for consumption at different times and in different seasons.

With a process in place that bills customers for their personal energy consumption, it will force consumers to be more conscious of their consumption habits. With more and more Smart Meter installations by electricians there will be fewer requirements for the construction of additional generation and less use of higher priced energy. Smart Meters should control the increase of electricity prices, which have seen rapid changes in recent times.

Benefits of Smart Meters include the following:

  1. Smart meters installations by our electricians will see an end to the requirement for meter readers. This provides big cost savings for energy firms whose aim is to reduce consumer energy bills.
  2. Smart Meters should bring to an end estimated bills and the requirement for call centre workers who deal with complaints that are often related to estimated bills.
  3. Smart Meters will play a big role in the reduction of the UK's energy consumption, with lower carbon emissions and ultimately they will save consumers money.
  4. The government has suggested that everyone could save around 2% of their energy usage. We could see a reduction of £100m from utility bills by 2020. Carbon dioxide emissions could be reduced by 2.6 million tonnes.
  5. Smart Meters will assist the government with the specific greenhouse gas reduction targets by a minimum of 34% by 2020.
  6. Smart Meters can work well in conjunction with Microgeneration Technologies, which enable householders to generate their own electricity. Homeowners can sell power they generate at home back to the electrical grid via Photovoltaic Solar Power installation by our electricians.
  7. Electricity suppliers can level the peaks and troughs of demand. This can be achieved by providing cheaper electricity for low demand periods and by increasing the prices for higher demand periods. With a reduction in peak demand less power stations are required to be on standby, which reduces carbon emissions.
  8. Significantly, Smart Meters provide the potential for electricity used by domestic appliances to be managed in more a dynamic way, when correctly installed by an electrician. For example you may switch off a fridge for a few minutes during high demand periods.

Smart Meters have already been installed by utility companies, including many installations by our electricians. In fact our electricians throughout the North East of England are presently working on large Smart Meter projects. One of the smaller utility companies has been reaping all the benefits of Smart Meters following the installation of 10,000 units by their electricians. As a result they can offer lower prices due to lower overheads on customer service.

Smart metering is part of our future and will play a vital role in the reduction of carbon emissions in the UK and across the world. It will provide more important data to consumers and utility companies than through conventional metering and billing systems.

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