Dermot Nolan, Ofgem: The roll-out of smart meters across Britain is one of the most significant technological upgrades in energy in people’s homes for decades. Smart meters help people control their energy use and save money and they provide real-time readings to replace estimated energy bills, reducing the risk of billing errors. Over 11m smart meters have already been installed in households by energy suppliers. But the lasting prize to consumers – and to the country – goes much further. Smart meters provide the foundations for an energy revolution as Britain moves to a smarter, cleaner and lower-cost system. Ofgem, as the energy regulator, is working with the Government and industry to ensure all consumers reap the benefits today and in years to come. Britain is generating increasing amounts of electricity from wind and solar power. As well as being clean, renewables are increasingly cheap. But because renewables are intermittent, they won’t always create electricity at peak times such as winter evenings when solar doesn’t generate and the wind may not blow. In the past, energy companies would have built lots of expensive back-up power stations and reinforced the grid to keep the lights on, with consumers footing the bill. Smart meters save on some of these costs by helping to smooth the peaks and troughs of electricity demand on the system. According to research from Imperial College, having a more flexible energy system, supported by smart meters, could save Britain between £17bn and £40bn by 2050. That means lower energy bills for all homes and businesses. Smart meters can help shift electricity demand to times when supplies are higher and prices are lower through “time-of-use” tariffs. Rather than charge the same flat rate for each unit of gas and electricity regardless of when it’s used, these tariffs offer lower prices for energy used during off-peak periods and higher prices at peak times.
Telegraph 12th Aug 2018 read more »