In my last blog I mentioned the challenges or rolling out smart meters across the UK and how there is a growing sense of concern amongst some consumers about issues related to privacy. I was therefore interested to see the result of some different research published in Engineering and Technology magazine (E&T) just a couple of weeks ago that takes the debate even further.
There is an idea being considered that once that vast majority of UK homes are on smart meters then the communication does not need to be one-way. Instead of considering that a smart meter just transmits usage information, it would also be possible for the utility to transmit information to the home, to indicate recommended energy use for example.
A good example of this might be allowing the utility to turn off your water supply when you go on holiday or allowing the utility to automatically reduce your central heating if local weather reports indicate a sudden increase in temperature.
On the surface, these measures sound intrusive and exactly what the anti smart meter campaigners are protesting about – the idea that the utility has some control of the way you use their service in your own home.
However, the Vanson Bourne research highlighted in E&T indicates that this fear of being connected to a smart grid rapidly vanishes when talking to younger consumers. 86% of 18-25 year olds supported the idea of letting their utility remotely manage energy use.
This is just one survey of 2,000 people, but the support for smart meters by younger consumers appears to be overwhelming. Do you believe they are right? Leave a comment on the blog here or tweet me on @stuartmorristp.
Photo by Tom Raftery licensed under Creative Commons