Awareness of smart meters 'is still low among UK consumers'
02 July 2012
Posted by Satvir Bhullar
Plenty of people in the UK are still not aware of smart meters and how they can save them money, an energy expert has claimed.
Zoe McLeod, head of smart and sustainable energy markets at Consumer Focus, told the Guardian that many consumers lack knowledge of smart meters, despite the fact the technology will be rolled out nationwide from 2014.
"As with any new technology, there are potential benefits such as accurate bills and opportunities to help you save money on your energy bills, but also new issues that customers should be aware of," she said.
The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) recently voiced concerns that smart meters could be used to track more than just energy consumption.
It claimed the meters could be used to record what "households do within the privacy of their own homes".
Giovanni Buttarelli, assistant director of the EDPS, told the Guardian: "Profiles can be used for many other purposes, including marketing, advertising and price discrimination by third parties."
It has been suggested that the European Commission is now under pressure to introduce legislation to ensure that smart meters do not breach data protection rules.
Last month, E.ON revealed that it had launched a second smart metering centre of excellence.
This 85-strong customer service team is based at Parklands in Bolton and will offer advice and support to customers who have smart meters and those who would like to have them installed in their homes.
E.ON's first smart metering centre of excellence opened in Nottingham in May 2011.
Since then, the energy giant has seen the number of enquiries about the technology triple.
Tony Cocker, chief executive of E.ON UK, said there has been a shift in demand for smart meters as more and more customers begin to understand the benefits they can bring.