London, U.K. --- (METERING.COM) --- July 24, 2012 - The Low Carbon London smart meter trials have reached an important milestone with the joining of the 5,000th customer.

Led by energy supplier EDF Energy and backed by a consortium of partners headed by London’s electricity network operator, UK Power Networks, the trials are exploring the pivotal role smart meters will play in delivering a smart grid. The research is part of a £30 million program, backed by Ofgem through the Low Carbon Networks Fund in its first round of funding in 2010.

“Thanks to the efforts of our energy partner EDF Energy, we have achieved the significant milestone of installing 5,000 smart meters across London,” said Liam O’Sullivan, program director of Low Carbon London at UK Power Network. “Customers joining the trial can be proud to be playing a key part in a ground breaking project which will deliver important research for electricity network operators across Britain.”

The trial will monitor the impact on London’s electricity network as customers start using smart meters to manage their electricity usage, thus supporting more efficient use of the network. Initially the trials will monitor the impact that groups of customers using smart meters has on the pattern of electricity use at specific substations.

Some of the participants will be offered innovative electricity tariffs, which will test whether they will reduce demand or move it to a different time of day. Currently, investment in the electricity network is driven by peak demand. If the peaks can be reduced, it might delay the need for investments in new cables, transformers and substations designed to keep pace with peaks in demand.

The project is on track to reach the objective of installing more than 6,500 smart meters before the end of the year.

Other elements of the 3-year Low Carbon London project include monitoring the impact on the network of PV solar panels, the extensive deployment of electric vehicle charging points and heat pumps, enhanced management of distributed generation, and wind twinning to balance the electricity system.

Other members of the project consortium include Logica, which is managing the program, National Grid, Imperial College London, Institute for Sustainability, Siemens, Enernoc, Flexitricity, Smarter Grid Solutions, Greater London Authority/London Development Agency, and Transport for London.