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Findings of DECC smart meter survey revealed

By Katie Anderson on August 21, 2012

It might come as a surprise to some but a recent survey into smart meters has revealed that home owners are more likely to trust energy suppliers and even consumer bodies like Which? than the Government. 

The survey, courtesy of leading market research firm Ipsos Mori on behalf of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), looked at determining public opinion and attitudes towards smart meters. Surprisingly, the findings for the report – Quantitative Research into Public Awareness, Attitudes and Experience of Smart Meters – revealed that 33% of people polled were more inclined to trust energy suppliers, while 26% said they regarded Which? as a trusted source of information, with the Government (17%), the Energy Saving Trust (16%) and newspapers (8%) bringing up the rear.

Smart meters perform the traditional function of measuring the amount of energy consumed and bring an end to annoying estimated billing.  However they also offer advanced functions and by providing information in real time means households can keep a tighter rein on their energy consumption which will help them to control and manage the amount of energy being used to save money and also cut carbon emissions.

The survey discovered that nearly half of those questioned had heard of the technology, although three quarters of those people had very little or no knowledge of smart meters.

Smart meters are a key player in helping the UK transition to a low-carbon economy and the Government wants every single home in the UK to be fitted with a smart energy meter. The mass roll out of the technology is set to kick off in 2014 and over a five year period more than 30 million homes and small businesses will be kitted out with gas and electricity smart meters.

Interest in installing smart energy meters and support for the technology should naturally increase once knowledge surrounding them increases. Ipsos Mori found that a small number of people – 5% – actually thought they had a smart meter installed. However the research company revealed that some people confused smart meters with in home displays, or simply didn’t understand what a smart meter was.

Households can maximise control over their energy use with a view to making energy savings by ensuring their homes are optimised to be as energy efficient as possible. This can be done through loft insulation, double glazing, cavity wall insulation and solar photovoltaic panels.