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uk smart metering rollout
Energy suppliers will in 2016 integrate their systems with the central meter data company ready for the initial deployments of a projected 3.8 million smart meters

In the UK, consumer engagement organisation Smart Energy GB is developing a partnership model to ensure customers understand the benefits of smart metering, opt to have them installed and are able to utilise them to their maximum potential.

To kick-start implementation of the model, in 2015 Smart Energy GB launched a call for a major delivery partner and a range of national partners.

The organisation also trialled targeted advertising ahead of a planned increase in media activity to align with the main installation phase of the roll-out in 2016.

These developments are according to a Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) report analysing smart metering roll-out in the UK.

Smart Energy GB will partner with regional network organisations such as housing associations to major national partners with significant infrastructure.

The independent agency also believes implementation of the model will enable them to grow the depth, breadth and scale of consumer engagement to build momentum in 2016 and beyond.

The decision follows the findings of a smart energy outlook survey, carried out by Smart Energy GB, stating that 79% of smart meter customers have adopted efficient energy use behaviour such as turning off lights and heating down.

The department has also held consultations on two key strands of customer engagement to be used to inform its campaign deliveries in future, Smart Energy for all and Smart Energy for business.

By implementing such initiatives including the publication of the Early Learning Project, the report says DECC has since the Q4 of 2014 made further progress in applying monitoring and evaluating arrangements.

The project is a series of reports validating UK’s smart meter roll out policy framework.

Smart metering roll-out strategy

On the other hand, the DECC published a rollout strategy  in March 2015 stipulating all large suppliers install, commission and enrol with the Data and Communications Company (DCC) 0.025% of total meter points by 1 February 2017.

By June 2015, 1,193,200 smart meters were operating in homes across Great Britain, and 538,400 were installed on non domestic sites.

Consumer protection

The DECC in collaboration with Ofgem has drafted regulatory framework Smart Metering Installation code of practice, to ensure consumer protection during the roll-out.

Meanwhile, the Data and Communications Company has progressed the design and build of the central communications infrastructure needed to deliver interoperable smart meters against a revised plan and started system integration testing in September 2015.

Smart metering rollout in 2016

The report states that the main industry activity over the next year will be to complete the actions required ahead of the start of DCC live services.

The DCC will complete build and testing of its systems and supporting user integration and early live operations by service users.

For DECC, activities will include developing the final parts of the Smart Energy Code and Licence conditions as well as making further enhancements to the technical specifications for the metering equipment as the smart system continues.

Energy suppliers will continue to step up their preparations to deliver installations on the ground including ensure they have the staff and systems to deliver a good customer experience, integrate their systems with the DCC and are ready for initial deployments of projected 3.8 million smart meters in 2016.