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The smart meter debate

From the Knowledge Centre

Published July 17th 2017 in Cross Service by Caroline Boden

In our latest consumer research report "retaining customers in a world of choice", UK households shared a wide range of views on the rollout of Smart Meters...

The Smart Meter - designed to give households more control over their energy use, help them understand their bills and allow them to see what the energy they use is costing them.

With so much to gain, you might expect UK households to be overwhelmingly supportive of the UK’s smart meter rollout plans....

One in three consumers call for choice
However, recent research we undertook highlighted that one in three consumers back the recent government changes to smart meter rollout plans, scrapping a commitment to install smart meters in 26 million homes by the end of the decade.

As announced in the Queen’s speech, Theresa May’s government will continue to encourage homes to have the energy monitoring devices installed, but has now said that homeowners will be offered the choice to have a meter put in their homes, rather than being forced to do so.

This will be welcome news for some UK households, as our research found that 31% of customers think they should be given the choice about whether to have a smart meter installed or not.

“Giving customers a choice about the services and products they use is a key factor in successful consumer relations and this announcement will be welcomed by homeowners.”

Caroline Boden, Head of Marketing and Communication, Echo Managed Services

We know there is an appetite for smart meters among UK homeowners, but one of the most common complaints we heard was that people thought this rollout was being enforced on them without properly understanding the benefits so this decision will go some way to calming those issues.

In addition, clearly articulating the benefits of meters to customers is vital, without this it can’t be expected that householders will readily agree to meter fitment.

Our latest research also identified that:

  • 33% would welcome a Smart Meter to help them monitor energy usage

  • 24% believed a Smart Meter would save them money on their energy bills

  • 14% were worried they’d end up paying more with a Smart Meter

  • 5% would find it inconvenient for their provider to fit a Meter in their property

  • 21% were unsure how they would benefit from a Smart Meter

- Caroline

Consumer attitudes towards Smart Meters

Suggested Further Reading

Knowledge Centre: Research

Retaining Customers in a World of Choice

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