Meter programme makes a slow start

23 January 2013
By Mark Venables
Mobile version
Share |
Smart meter

Smart meter

The UK government’s first annual progress report on its smart meter programme has received a mixed reception from industry players, with many calling into question the sector’s ability to hit its 2020 targets.

Smart energy meters incorporate communications functions so they can be read remotely.

Consumption data can also be presented in near real-time on an in-home display (IHD) or transmitted securely to other consumer devices over a home area network, helping people to manage their energy use better.

The report pledged that consumers will have choice on how often their energy supplier can access their consumption data and that suppliers will not be able to use that data for marketing purposes without explicit consent.

Suppliers will also be required to give their customers reminders about the choices they have made and how to change them.

The Government will request annual reports from all larger energy suppliers setting out their plans and progress with the roll-out.

In addition a new central delivery body will help consumers to use smart metering to better manage their energy consumption and expenditure.

The first version of the Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications (SMETS) was published in April 2012, covering gas and electricity meters and the in-home display (IHD).

A second version is due this year with further detail in specific areas, such as the standards for the home area network and the requirements for the communications hub.

“From what I can see in this report there is no real ‘new’ content; it seems mostly to be restating existing policy,” said Mark England, CEO of smart metering technology company Sentec.

“Interestingly, it does now admit that some suppliers will not rollout significant volumes of meters during the Foundation Stage.

“This isn’t a surprising statement when you consider the investment risks suppliers will face developing integrated systems that potentially will not be used.

“From a vendor point of view, the volumes of SMETS1 products are now so low it has become hard to justify the development effort.

“As a result there are very few vendors with suitable tested products.

“When you add in the risk of choosing the wrong home-area network (this is work in progress), it’s not hard to see why initial ambitions for the foundation phase are being scaled back.”

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1607

"As the dust settles after the referendum result, we consider what happens next. We also look forward to an international summer of sport."

E&T jobs

  • Digital Forensic Specialist (Audio)

    Met Police
    • London
    • Circa £37,305 plus £3,406 location allowance

    You’ll contribute to a wide range of research and development activities.

    • Recruiter: Met Police

    Apply for this job

  • MetOp-SG Receiver Project Manager

    Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
    • STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell, Oxfordshire
    • £37,213 - £50,926 (depending on experience)

    Project Manager to oversee the development, production and test of spaceflight components and integrated receiver systems

    • Recruiter: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

    Apply for this job

  • Systems Engineer

    Reaction Engines Ltd
    • Abingdon, Oxfordshire
    • Competitive + Benefits

    Perform general systems engineering tasks as necessary with specific focus on electronic systems and instrumentation.

    • Recruiter: Reaction Engines Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Production Manager

    Reaction Engines Ltd
    • Abingdon, Oxfordshire
    • Competitive + Benefits

    An amazing opportunity to plan, direct and coordinate all manufacturing operations and activities in line with company strategy and business plan.

    • Recruiter: Reaction Engines Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Navigation Sensors Principle Engineer

    MBDA
    • Stevenage
    • Competitive Salary & Benefits

    What?s the opportunity? An exciting opportunity has arisen in a rapidly evolving international team with increasing capabilities.  The Navigation Sensors Group is responsible for the...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • Technology Manager - External Communications

    BAE Systems
    • Frimley, England, Surrey
    • Negotiable

    Technology Manager - External Communications Would you like Lead the technical delivery of the External Communications System (ECS) capability sustainment & evolution projects within the common ECS (cECS) Baseline Design Management (BDM) programme? Th

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Graduate Process Engineer

    EFFECT Photonics
    • Brixham, Devon
    • £20,000 to £25,000

    Join our exciting journey to deliver new standards in the availability of data bandwidth.

    • Recruiter: EFFECT Photonics

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Principal Materials Engineer

    MBDA
    • Stevenage
    • Competitive salary & benefits

    What?s the opportunity? A fantastic opportunity has arisen for an experienced materials engineer/scientist specialising in non-metallic materials and processing. You will be given responsibility for...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate

    The University of Liverpool
    • Liverpool, Merseyside
    • £32,600 - £37,768 pa

    Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in a brand new area of communications.

    • Recruiter: The University of Liverpool

    Apply for this job

  • Test Engineering Opportunities

    HMGCC
    • Hanslope Park, Milton Keynes
    • Salary offered will depend on skills and experience

    Push incredible innovations beyond their limits. Opportunities for Software, Hardware, EMC, Test and Inspection Engineers!

    • Recruiter: HMGCC

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T