smart meters

Most people are still using meter technology that is decades out of date. But the national roll-out of smart meters to every home and micro-business means that the last analogue experience is finally entering the digital age.
The dust is settling on an extraordinary night of election drama, and Conservative ministers will soon be assuming full control of all government departments. A majority Conservative administration will now be able to implement clear plans for the next five years, unimpeded by what they've seen as the compromises of coalition.
Smart meters are good at certain things, but simply knowing the specific energy levels that you're consuming does not in itself increase efficiency - all it may do is encourage you to use less.
The ominous thud as the energy bill lands on the doormat remains the single biggest financial worry for Britons, confirmed by research out last week, which showed that concern about energy costs continues to outpace our worries about mortgages, food or fuel bills.
As tends to be the case, utility companies will be all over the news agenda this winter, and this year will be no exception with EDF's nuclear reactors offline until the end of the year. However on top of this, a subject that is likely to rumble on is the introduction of so-called smart meters.
Imagine this. You're doing your regular supermarket shop, filling your trolley with groceries for the next week. But when you go to pay at the till, you are told that you won't find out what your shop costs for several months. It's only at the end of the quarter that you receive your bill from the supermarket, for all the shopping you've done in the last three months. Hopefully when the bill comes, you will have managed your household budget well enough to be able to pay...
We watch them, drive them, make phone calls on them and even live in them. Everything today, it seems, is smart. TVs, cars, phones and cities all carry the prefix to display their clever credentials. And next week, with the launch of the new iPhone 5S, another product will be added to the long list of smart.
If the phrase 'smart metering programme' means nothing to you, then it is time to get reading. This is your beginners guide and will take you from novice to being pretty well informed on the new government programme. Why is this important? The scheme is set to take off in 2014 and will be rolled out to every home and small business in the UK - you can't hide from it!
It's now three years since the previous government announced a national roll-out of smart meters to every UK home by 2020 but the creation and nature of the installation program has suffered repeated delays and changes in direction.
In order to decarbonise our energy sources, we need a smart metering system that is intelligent! Most of us are too busy to continually think about how much energy we're using, but smart meters could enable automation of the process.