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A study commissioned by the United Kingdom’s Department of Energy and Climate Change recently revealed that over half the population is unaware of the existence of smart meters.
Over 51% of the 2,396 energy bill-payers interviewed by the Ipsos Mori research team in Britain said they had never heard of smart meters. Only one in four said they knew at least a fair amount about the meters, 24% had heard of them but knew nothing about them, while just 2% claimed to know “a great deal”.
The study comes amid plans to roll-out smart meters in all of Britain’s 30 million households from 2014 to 2019.
The EU’s 27 member states are expected to present their national cost-benefit analyses on the deployment of smart meters to the European Commission before 3 September. These are expected to result in 80% of European consumers being equipped with intelligent metering systems by 2020.
The roll-out of smart meters could potentially transform the way energy markets operate in the EU, with customers expected to become more actively engaged in controlling their energy consumption, with the help of demand-response systems.
Smart meters display household’s energy consumption in real-time, giving users the possibility to monitor fluctuations in their energy consumption both locally and remotely – through wireless systems, the internet and smart phones.
Since households are responsible for 40% of total energy consumption, the European Commission believes smart meters will be a key element in reducing energy demand and cutting associated carbon-dioxide emissions.