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37 Million Brits Need to Get Energy Smarter

37 million1 (76%) Brits are missing out on vital savings of up to 4 per cent on their energy bills2 as they ignore the benefits of smart meters, according to new research from energy company, E.ON3, which marks the first anniversary of its Smart Metering Centre of Excellence.

The Age Gap
 - The wisdom of age - 55% of over 55 year olds are most likely to be able to correctly define what a smart meter is
-  The positivity of youth - 18-24 year olds are the most enthusiastic at viewing smart meters as having a positive effect on their live
The Gender Divide
-  Male aspirations - Males are twice as likely as females to really want a smart meter
-  Seeing is believing - Females would reduce their energy usage more so than males if they could visualise their behaviours  

The research provides an insight into the use of consumer technology in households, with over half (55%) of people citing its positive effect in providing more access to advice and information, followed by half (51%) of Brits who shrewdly use technology to manage their personal finances through online banking and smartphone apps.

Demonstrating an enthusiasm for using technology to gain a greater understanding into their daily habits, Brits use a range of apps and online portals to analyse their exercise, dietary and sleeping habits.

E.ON is calling for people to mirror the use of technology in their everyday lives and gain greater visibility into their energy use through smart meters so they can make positive behavioural changes and benefit from energy savings and cash savings.

Reflecting the interest in learning about daily habits, nearly two-thirds (59%) of people would reduce their energy usage if they could visualise their consumption. Currently, there is a lot of confusion around smart meters with just under two thirds (60%) of people claiming to know what a smart meter is, but in reality, less than half (45%) could correctly define its role of enabling two-way communications between an energy supplier and a household's electricity and gas meter.

Jean Fiddes, Head of Customer Learning for Smart Meters at E.ON, said: "Technology is playing an empowering role in our lives and our research highlights people are keen to extend this to their energy use. Smart meters allow consumers to easily visualise their energy consumption daily, weekly and monthly, meaning they have increased transparency into their daily energy habits, providing accurate bills and greater management of their finances."

Lucy Hedges, Multimedia Editor at Stuff, said:  "With the explosion in smartphone apps over the last 18 months, people are keeping track of their daily routines on the go. Whether it's to analyse their exercise, keep track of their banking or monitor their health, the ability to view their behaviours is proving to be a huge success. It's a natural step to extend this trend into a home's energy use and smart meters provide a great way of helping people manage their cash budgets."

With the government keen to install a smart meter into every UK home by 2019, E.ON has gained great momentum in installations so far and has fitted 100,000 smart meters across the country over the last 12 months.  Its customers have provided positive feedback on their experiences with 86%4 stating that it has increased awareness of how much energy they're using in their home.

E.ON has committed to install a total of 1 million smart meters in the foundation period up to 2014 and opened its Smart Meter Centre of Excellence on 9 May 2011 to provide a dedicated contact point for customers with smart meters.

Jean continued: "Our customers want more accurate bills, more innovative products and more control over their energy use.  We've already gained a lot of momentum in smart metering and are working very hard to ensure that our customers who wish to receive the early benefits of smart metering are able to do so.

"Our customers want smart meters and those who now have them are extremely pleased with the technology, in terms of putting them in control of their energy use and bringing an end to estimated bills.  In fact, take up amongst our customers has been so high that we're opening a second Smart Metering Centre of Excellence soon and we want to continue spreading the word about smart meters to help our customers make effective changes to their energy use."

1. 76% of people are unaware a smart meter can help them make a 4% saving on their energy bill. 76% of 49 million adults (sourced from ONS,2009) = 37,240,000;
2. Energy Demand Research project with 18,000 smart meter customers between 2007 and 2010 for E.ON, EDF, SSE and ScottishPower;
3. Research carried out amongst 2,000 UK adults by OnePoll in April 2012;
4. Edigitalresearch in February 2012;

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