Following the publication of the Government’s response to their recent consultation on smart metering, ScottishPower has announced that it intends to increase the number of devices it installs in customers homes as it prepares for a full roll-out of the new technology - expected to commence in 2012. Over the next two years, the company plans to increase its trial and install an additional 100,000 plus smart meters, which are designed to help reduce bills and cut carbon emissions.
For the last two years, the company has been testing the new smart electricity and gas meters in just under 1000 homes. This has allowed ScottishPower to develop a better understanding of the system requirements and the processes involved in sending and receiving what will eventually be billions of items of information every year. The company is now expanding its trial as it moves to the next stage of progress before the full roll-out.
Smart meters will provide precise real time information on energy consumption, enabling customers to better manage their energy use. Energy companies will also be able to design specifically tailored tariffs that will benefit their customers. They will also bring an end to estimated bills and manual meter readings, so there will never be any doubt about the cost of energy.
Finlay MacDonald, who is in charge of the smart meter programme at ScottishPower, said: “The Government announcement today signals the true start of a technological advancement that will benefit every household in Great Britain. Energy companies and the Government will now be working in partnership to replace 49 million meters in more than 27 million homes over the next decade. The task is challenging but achievable, and ScottishPower will be immediately scaling-up our efforts to be prepared for the full upgrade.
“Our trials so far have been an invaluable source of information about what smart meters can do. We’ve learned a great deal about the technology and the capabilities of the meters, and this knowledge will only increase as our trials expand.
“Smart metering will have an impact on virtually every customer process, bringing with it vast opportunities to improve service and extend the range of products and services we provide our customers. There are many challenges yet to be overcome – and a lot of hard work between now and the end of the rollout, but the rewards for the consumer, business and the environment will be significant.”
As part of Iberdrola Group, ScottishPower has also been working with project teams in Spain and USA, who are also undertaking significant smart metering deployments over the coming years. This will allow the company to share expertise and maximise its knowledge in the development of smart meters.
Notes to Editors:
When the roll out begins at the end of 2012, engineers across the UK will be required to install 135,000 meters every week to achieve the 2020 deadline.
ScottishPower currently has 5.2 million customers. Taking this into account, the company expects that it will handle 92 billion unique items of information every year when smart meters are installed.
Media Information: Paul Ferguson, 0141 566 4515 / 07702 665 924