Benefits of smart meters will not be fully realised without government smart grid mandate

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Sensus urges government to consider smart grid as part of GB smart meter roll-out.

London, UK: Smart communications specialist, Sensus today warns that a broader approach to the UK smart meter roll-out is required by the government to ensure the benefits smart grids can deliver in terms of energy security and management efficiency are realised in the future. As DECC and Ofgem continue to consider responses to last years’ Smart Metering Implementations Programme Prospectus, Sensus urges the government to think about the evolution of the system from smart meters to the smart grid and include a mandate to this effect.

The GB ‘smart’ project is currently retailer led with a focus on smart meters and the customer experience. However, in other European and US markets it has been shown that equal benefits are realised through the smart grid features as it enables distributors to manage their networks more efficiently with real data to facilitate better planning and management of their networks.

New developments are driving complexity into the local distribution network, such as renewable (micro) generation, electric vehicles, and the need for demand management to ensure security of supply, and utilities have to respond with suitable management and control systems. Sensus warns that if the use cases for smart grids aren’t considered prior to a UK smart meter roll-out, or do not form part of the same government mandate, it will be much harder to realise these benefits.

Andy Slater, Director at Sensus comments, “Smart grid requirements are currently very light for the GB smart meter roll-out due to the lack of a mandate from government for smart grid. This presents a risk that the network functionality required to support future smart grid operations will be missed and then be expensive and very difficult, if not impossible, to fit retrospectively. The UK needs to follow the lead of countries like Portugal, which includes both smart meter and grid requirements in the same RFI.”

He continues “The government must consider now where the benefits of smart grid applications play into its commitments to improved competitiveness, efficiency, renewable generation capacity and security in the energy sector, and ensure the chosen smart meter network will fully support the move to smart grids in the future.”

About Sensus

Sensus creates innovative technology solutions that enable the conservation of water and energy. Sensus has led the discovery, development, and implementation of technologies for the energy and water industries for more than a century. Water, gas, and electric utility customers around the world benefit from the company’s open, flexible products and solutions to help them optimize their resources – today and tomorrow.

Sensus is a global leader in utility infrastructure systems and has in-excess of seven million smart meter and smart grid endpoints active today with over 225 utilities worldwide using their leading solution, FlexNet. This represents 40% share of the 15-20 million smart meters installed in North America. In the UK, Sensus is working with Arqiva to deploy a communications platform as part of the UK’s rollout of smart meters to all homes and businesses, which is currently in trial in Reading and supported by energy providers, including npower.

Sensus has 4,000 people worldwide with nearly 1,000 of these in Europe and offices or manufacturing facilities in Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Slovakia. Sensus headquarters are in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.

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