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Smart meters in Great Britain - statistics & facts

Smart meters are part of an advanced metering infrastructure meant to ease monitoring of energy consumption and enable two-way communication with the supplier. The meter may be connected to the network via fixed cabling or wireless options. They are most commonly used as an electricity meter, although gas and water meters are also available. In Great Britain, a government-initiated rollout of smart electricity and gas meters began in 2016. By the end of 2021, utility companies had more than 23 million smart and advanced meters in operation across Great Britain.

What is the British smart meter rollout scheme?

A smart meter rollout for England, Wales, and Scotland was meant to improve consumer flexibility within the market. By monitoring real-time energy consumption, households would no longer have to rely on estimated billing and could use energy more efficiently, helping Great Britain move towards a lower-carbon economy. Due to deployment delays, the government has extended the rollout period until 2025, when all energy suppliers will be required to offer smart meters to their customers.

Smart meter deployment in Great Britain

In Great Britain, residences account for the largest share of smart meters deployed. In 2021, there were roughly 22 million domestic smart meters in operation in the country, the majority of which were installed by large energy suppliers. That year, small suppliers installed some 200 thousand domestic smart meters units. Meanwhile, the number of non-domestic smart and advanced meters in operation in Great Britain surpassed 1.6 million in 2021. Since the previous year, smart meters have surpassed advanced meters in terms of new non-domestic installations by large energy suppliers.

Consumer awareness and experience

Brits’ smart meter awareness has considerably grown in the past decade. According to a survey conducted in March 2021, less than five percent of respondents had never heard of smart meters, down from more than half of households surveyed in 2012. Another survey found that, when it comes to consumers’ experience with smart meters, more than 60 percent of respondents in Britain believed the devices made them more conscious about their energy use. As of the first quarter of 2021, seven out of ten users surveyed were satisfied with smart meters.

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