The UK smart meter market is expected to exceed £1 billion a year in 2015, thanks to recent EU and UK laws which require the devices to be installed in most homes by 2019. A new report from IMS Research claims consumers will also feel the benefits through cheaper bills and more flexible tariffs, despite recent fears over costs.
Smart meters communicate between a property and their utility company via an Advanced Metering Infrastructure network, allowing the energy firm to remotely measure how much electricity consumers are using.
Lisa Arrowsmith, Senior Analyst for IMS Research who is responsible for the report said consumers would benefit from knowing how much energy they use: “Smart meters will end estimated billing, which is often contentious and frustrating. Also, the UK has outlined a regulatory framework which includes the provision of ‘in-home displays’ which let consumers know how much electricity they are using and can help them manage and ideally reduce electricity consumption.”
The report also suggests smart meters would likely be responsible for the introduction of variable electricity tariffs as various smart appliances come to market. For example, during periods of peak electricity use a power company would be able to adjust thermostats, making demand reduction and money saving possible.