Well, yesterday 23rd April 2013 rather than celebrate St Georges day as we like to do, I took one for the team and made my way to London to join the discussion at the Westminster Forum for Smart Meter rollout in Whitehall.
All the members of the power generation companies glitterati where in attendance. EDF. E.ON, British gas, BT, G4S, The DECC, Government Ministers, Lords, MP’s and many other interested parties including our humble selves. We were there to find out if the roll out of Smart meteres means work for our customers.
Here’s what we learned.
It’s definitely going ahead, its mandatory.
We are in the Foundation phase of the scheme, the mass roll out of installs happens in earnest from end 2014. ( By the way, earnest isn’t a place :- )
The target is 24 Million installs of meters to be done in a mass roll out by end of 2019.
That figure means its estimated that between 20,000 and 30,000 installs need to be done a day!
They estimate the DECC (Dept Of Energy and Climate Change) that a single installer can complete 3.7 installs a day, and preferably this guy or girl would hopefully be qualified in Plumbing (Gas) and Electricity, and have some energy efficiency training and customer service skills.
There will be a single accreditation of a dual fuel diploma to undertake these installs.
E.ON have so far completed 200,000 installs and are the market leader in this initiative. The other DNO’s (Distribution Network Operators) are sure to follow in earnest (again not the place!)
Once in place the customer will be able to have real time control of their energy spending and quickly change providers for better deals. Also if there’s an interruption in service, the DNO would know before the customer and send updates via Apps. The scheme would be the best in the world and should help towards our energy efficiency and security.
Is there an opportunity for our customers to get involved? Yes we think so; we intend to get involved in the training of installers, watch this space, we’ll keep you updated!