Large-scale trials of smart meters, real-time energy display units and other energy saving interventions are to be conducted in the UK over the next two years to assess their role in cutting household energy consumption.

Approximately 15,000 households will be provided with state-of-the-art smart meters and 8,000 more will receive clip-on real time display units for their existing meters, while another 17,000 households will test new ways of receiving information to help them cut their energy use.

Four energy companies, EDF Energy, E.ON UK, Scottish and Southern Energy and Scottish Power, have been selected to conduct the trials, which also will include six metering/feedback device companies, four IT specialist companies, two charities and three universities. The Centre for Sustainable Energy with the Universities of Oxford and Surrey will evaluate the results, which will inform the rollout of smart meters to UK households over the next ten years.

The trials are being funded by £10 million from government matched by a similar amount from the companies involved, and will be administered by the gas and electricity markets authority, Ofgem.

www.dti.gov.uk/energy