In the UK, the industry body responsible for promoting smart meters to UK consumers has pulled off a unique PR stunt involving analogue meters and classical musicians.Smart Energy GB arranged for the UK's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to record 'A Requiem for Meters' on custom-made instruments including electric meter violins, cellos made from empty gas meters and a timpani drum constructed from 18 gas meters welded together.
The classical musicians recorded the three-minute long piece of music at London's Abbey Road studios, a favourite of The Beatles, in a move to mark the passing of old meters and the coming of smart meters.
Smart Energy GB released 'A Requiem for Meters' in November alongside an in memoriam film of old gas and electricity meters to raise awareness of the national smart meter rollout.
Conductor with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Chris Egan said: “Abbey Road Studio Two has been the site of some extraordinary experimental recordings over the years, but this recital played entirely with instruments made from old gas and electricity meters is perhaps one of the most unusual.
"It has been great fun to conduct and I think we have ended up with the perfect soundtrack to mark the passing of old meters and the coming of smart meters.”
Smart Energy GB - consumer campaign
Smart Energy GB is also behind the Gaz and Leccy consumer campaign - two animated characters that aim to communicate the message of the smart meter rollout to UK customers.
In preparation for what the industry-funded organisation calls the 'biggest national infrastructure project in our lifetimes' (50 million smart meters in over 26 million households), the two erratic cartoon characters have been used in national press advertising to emphasis how smart meters can help get spending on utilities "under control".
Gaz's personna is "getting very quickly irritated, exasperated, and just plain mad when Leccy is around. If he sees an opportunity to splat Leccy, trap him in the washer, or suck him into the vacuum cleaner then you'd better believe he's going to do it."
While Leccy is "a constant, fizzing, hyperactive bundle of energy. Any chance he gets, he will get up to mischief and drag Gaz into his troublesome schemes. Plus, he finds it really funny to trick or trap him in any way he can."
In another PR stunt in October 2015, Smart Energy GB overtook a London cinema screening with a Gaz and Leccy 3D film on an unsuspecting audience in Oct.