Britain readies for nation-wide Smart Meter rollout

Smart Meter

An article in the UK’s Sunday Times recently talked about the plans for a nationwide rollout of Smart Meters in Britain.

From the article:

Telecoms giants Vodafone, O2 and BT and system integrators Logica, Accenture, IBM and Capgemini are understood to have started talks to form bidding consortiums…

The government has put smart meters at the heart of its energy policy but progress on its implemen-tation has been slow. A consensus has emerged recently between the Department for Energy and Climate Change, Ofgem, the regulator, and the big six utility companies over how it will be done.

Each utility will be responsible for fitting new meters for its customers, starting a roll-out from 2010…

To ensure transparency, a “central communications” group would be set up to electronically collect, process and distribute data and serve as the go-between for energy companies and the meters in their customers’ homes…

Ofgem is expected to run the tender for the contract, which would operate from 2010 to 2020. The winning group would likely consist of a telecoms provider and a systems integrator. There is an outside chance that the contract could be broken down regionally.

This is great news for Britain as it will allow for demand response projects to be rolled out with the consequent nationwide energy savings and the possibilities to increase the penetration of renewables on the grid. Ireland continues to drag its feet in this area with a limited pilot to begin next year. With the irish government hoping to reach 40% penetration of renewables by 2020, they really need to pick up the pace if they want to come anywhere near achieving that target.