Today sees the publication of a new piece of research into public attitudes to smart meters. We commissioned this research in January this year to deepen our understanding of the attitudes that people hold towards smart meters and why they hold particular views. 120 respondents from a range of different ages, regions and backgrounds took part and the results have made for interesting reading.
The key findings highlight that consumers with smart meters and In Home Displays (IHDs) had felt that not only had the IHDs illustrated the impact of their appliances on energy consumption, but had also changed their behaviour. The IHDs had helped to prompt users to switch off appliances which no longer needed to be on, such as TVs and phone chargers. And it was also encouraging to read that smart meters had helped users to identify and replace ‘culprit’ or ‘high use’ appliances such as an ageing fridge freezer, or to change spotlights for LEDs. The findings will now feed into our consumer engagement strategy consultation which is closing on Friday (01 June). So do please read the research and let us know your thoughts.
In other news, it’s been another busy week for the Smart Metering Programme. On Monday we hosted a webchat on our website. Several cups of tea and 2 boxes of biscuits later, 4 of my colleagues had answered 60 of the 90 questions received, covering a wide range of subjects from privacy to cost. You can view a replay of the event and we’ll endeavour to get through the remaining unanswered questions shortly.
On Tuesday, I also had an opportunity to outline the progress which the Programme has been making over the last year, when I spoke at the Smart Metering Update conference in London, organised by Marketforce and the Adam Smith Institute. The event brought together representatives from energy companies, consumer groups and other stakeholders. Many delegates recognised that we were already one year into delivery of the Programme and making good progress.