The Smart Metering Initiative (SMI) was introduced by the UK Government as part of a major plan to upgrade the UK’s energy system. Essentially the initiative involves installing new next generation meters in all homes and small businesses to measure gas and electricity. These new Smart Meters will measure exactly how much gas and electricity is being used and will allow consumers to monitor consumption and cost via a display on the meter. This information is also then fed back directly to the energy companies eliminating the need for regular readings to be taken or estimated bills. Installing Smart Meters across the UK will be enabled by machine-to-machine (M2M) communication network.
SMI offers a number of benefits both for the consumer and energy companies themselves. Smart Meters will make it very easy for you to see how much energy you are using and therefore lets you exercise greater control over usage allowing you to save money. The energy companies will have much more accurate information which means they’ll be able to build better customer relationships and market more effectively according to a customer’s circumstances. The UK Government have a program in place that will roll out a smart meter to every consumer and business in the UK by 2020 over the next 5 years. The energy suppliers themselves will be responsible for installing these new Smart Meters and will have to visit 30 million homes and small businesses to do this by 2020.
Why is having accurate data important for the Smart Metering Initiative?
For the energy companies data plays a significant role in the success of the SMI roll out. All utility companies will need to comply with the UK Government and visit customers to install the new meters over the next 5 years. This will involve locating and co-ordinating directly with customers and having accurate contact data will be critical to ensuring that this runs smoothly. Energy suppliers will need to have confidence in a complete customer record that includes information such as UDPRN from PAF as well as telephone numbers. Further enhancing their data can also help to drill deeper into specific addresses and understand more about them such as whether there is more than one occupant in a building.