Smart Meters — Smart Savings or Smart Profits ? Are the Costs & Benefits Fairly Apportioned ?

Wednesday 29 September 2010, Energy Institute, London
The implementation of Smart Meters in the UK has major implications for business and the public sector. DECC/Ofgem E-Serve are working through activities and consultations with the aim of defining the implementation programme; a programme that will shape the type and scope of services for energy and carbon management which will be available to energy consumers and users for the foreseeable future.
This conference seeks to both brief and collate views on the Demand Side issues for electricity [primarily in the sub-100kW market] and gas; namely how will the Smart Meter help the business owner/manager save energy, namely money — or perhaps that is not why Smart Meters are to be installed ?
The target audience is:
• Energy professionals, working with clients to help them reduce their consumption and costs, and Energy Managers, in particular those with organisations which have multiple smaller sites;
• Users with first hand experience of implementing energy management initiatives using metered data;
• Representatives from Government, Ofgem, the utilities and other relevant organisations.
This is a non-commercial professional conference. By exploring the demand side issues of Smart Metering we aim to gain a better understanding and support for demand side participation and consideration in the UK implementation programme. Smart Metering is not just a vehicle for accurate billing – it should be the workhorse for energy and carbon management, aimed at reducing both user’s and the UK’s energy cost and carbon footprint. Too often the stance from many participants is that metering and the availability of data is a purely commercial arrangement between supplier and customer. We believe that the data is the Customer’s and the energy saving aspect of this relationship should be much more actively encouraged and supported by Government.
The Government are portraying Smart Meters as a key national contribution to EC initiatives such as the Energy End-Use Directive, with benefits accruing equally to the Supply and Demand sides. The utilities are selling the Smart Meter as the only solution to managing your energy consumption. Numerous commercial conferences are extolling the commercial benefits of Smart Meters.
But on the Demand Side, we see a different story where Smart Meters have been installed, particularly where utilities have dominated the process — energy bills have rocketed; utility’s savings are eight times greater than consumer’s; data protection, security and fraud issues. You can even buy a device to alter your meter reading. In addition there are technical and operational issues such as:
• Who owns the metered data?
• Customer choice of data collection regime;
• Specification of the ‘Smart Meter’;
• What is the difference between Smart and Advanced Metering?
• Making sure that meters enable management [via internet?] and real-time control [local port];
• Transitional arrangements whilst pulses are still the dominant customer site interface.
So:
• Will Smart Meters save us energy?
• How will Smart Meters save us energy?
• Who will actually benefit?
• Do you have a contribution?
The programme is split into four sections, and by the close we aim to have a better understanding of the key Demand Side requirements needed to achieve maximum savings:
• What has happened, should happen, is proposed and how it will be implemented;
• What is needed from a Smart meter. The opinion of an Energy Manager, the Consumer and a Data Processor;
• What could be installed; viewpoints from a Utility, a meter professional and a specialist in metering for energy management;
• Open discussion to arrive at the key requirements for maximising energy & cost savings.
For Registration, see: www.esta.org.uk/smart

By Kris

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