Is The Smart Meter Implementation Program Smart Enough?

April 19th, 2016

A major IT project is in works to fulfill an extreme long term goal of reducing energy consumption by installing these new smart meters (SM) in households and business. This is to give them the ability to understand how much energy is being consumed by them each day, and to start the reduction of their power consumption. The UK, highly invested in this new change that is being introduced, a GB smart metering implementation program also known as GB SMIP is estimated to cost a whopping 11.6bn pounds.
With the aim of monitoring the gas and energy that is being utilized by households and businesses, 54 million SMs are planned to be installed across the country. These new SMs will have monitors attached to them giving the user real time information of how much energy they have used and how their certain lifestyles affect this usage. The outcome of this project is for the consumers to realise how much they are consuming and to start consciously reducing and using energy more efficiently. This project aims to provide users with lower bills, a reduction in carbon emissions and provide the energy suppliers with information to make better decisions.

The SMs brain
The entire idea of this smart metering project is to start sending all the information on energy utilization collected through SMs to a centralized hub. The information while at this hub is being processed and made sense of and then sent the energy suppliers way. To be able to handle all these processes effectively, the GB SMIP needs to have highly advanced sensors, communication networks and technology to be able to safeguard all the sensitive data.
IT costs
The smart metering project has to depend mainly on suppliers. The transmission of data from SMs to the hub and then the hub to energy suppliers require a lot of other different functions. For this purpose alone a new company called the central data and communications company (DCC) is being formed. Once the DCC is put into action, it will require several suppliers of WAN, data transmission, and IT services to be supplied to them to start this mega information hub.
Public’s opinions
This project was started keeping in mind the consumers and the benefits they will receive from the decrease in prices. During the past few months there has been an uproar by infuriated consumers who have received bills worth hundreds of dollars, which they have never paid before. The support this project once had, is starting to decrease day by day. Which is not a good sign for the future of the GB SMIP.
This project is indeed a great idea, but the public support it seems to be losing does not indicate it is going on the right track. Hopefully the tax payers’ money will not go to waste.

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