Almost half of Britons are keen to use future technology to share and compare their energy usage with friends and neighbours, a new survey claims.
The study of more than 2,000 UK homes, commissioned to gauge attitudes to smart meters, revealed there is huge public support for the technology, with almost three quarters (73%) saying they would welcome smart meters into their homes, finding the concept of it “appealing”.
The news comes as the UK Government plans to install 53 million smart meters in around 30 million homes, with the roll-out expected at the end of 2019 to 2020 – a delay from the previous target which DECC said was required to build and test the systems. It also follows a recent report that claimed householders could cut their energy usage by 7% if they compare their consumption with similar homes or if they are given financial incentives.
Smart meters collect information about energy use in households electronically without the need for homeowners or energy suppliers to take meter readings. This includes how much gas and electricity a household is using as well as energy costs and tariff information.
The survey found in-home displays were the most popular (44%) compared to receiving information through e-mail (28%), checking it on a website (26%) or through a smartphone or tablet app (9%).
Stephen Passmore, Technical Delivery Manager at the Energy Saving Trust said: “The in-home display unit of smart meters enables homeowners to see the impact of switching on the kettle or vacuum cleaner and lets them make decisions about how they use energy in the home. Smart meters could help households work out how they can reduce their energy use or see whether they’re getting the best value for money from their energy supplier.
“Research has shown that people use less energy if they are more engaged with how much they are using and where and how it is being used. This is supported by our survey, with 62% of people asked stating that an understanding of how much energy they were using in monetary terms on a daily basis would encourage them to be more energy efficient.”
Almost two thirds (64%) of people also said they were keen on becoming more energy efficient in their homes, which is good news as DECC’s research suggested installing energy efficiency measures could help boost property prices by £16,000.