Can energy transformation and smart meters in the UK provide reliable and effective energy systems? Has the entire system improved over the last decade or so?
A decade ago Gordon Brown, the former Prime Minister of the UK said: “For every household over the next decade, there will be the offer of a smart meter that will allow two-way communication between the supplier and customer, giving more accurate bills and making it easier for people to generate their own energy through microgeneration and sell it onto the grid.”
As days passed, energy systems have evolved with smart meters finding homes in many households and enterprises. The fundamental idea of switching to smart meters was to render accurate information about energy usage and customers paying only for the energy they consume rather than paying a fixed amount every month.
However, the smart meter program failed to accelerate and subsequently lagged behind owing to the fragmented structure of the UK market. Adding to this, the complex GDPR regulations for security of personal data is also one of the reasons why smart meters usage has slowed down.
In many cases, the safety concerns encompassing smart meters have been met with some considerable amount of skepticism. This happened because people are unaware thatimpact of smart meters are part of a secure ecosystem, which uses an encrypted wireless network where no personal information is stored.
In this scenario, the proliferation of the Internet of Things and big data analytics will pave the way to connect multiple devices and support companies in rendering the right plans to the right customers. With that, the right data can be analyzed and processed correctly, and suppliers can improve distribution with accurate billing enabling operators to manage power quality and outages.
Here, smart meters will act as a connected platform and allow third parties to create new products and services. It can also assist distributors to offer variable plans based on energy consumption patterns of each consumer. Today, smart meters have become an undeniable force in the global energy market. The future will be fascinating as both businesses and consumers will embrace the benefits of this emerging market where it will see mass adoption.