What are second generation smart meters & when are they available?
- Second Generation Smart Meters (SMETS2) will be available in 2018
- They are designed to address the shortcomings of the first generation meters that have led to criticism and concerns in the press.
- New meters will be much more reliable and offer a wealth of features to make them a more attractive option to householders across the UK.
By 2020 the government has pledged to offer all households in the UK the option of a smart meter.
They aim to put an end to billing errors, eliminate the need for manual meter readings and help households reduce energy consumption.
The energy companies, in broad agreement of the policy, are responsible for fitting the meters.
They are currently looking for trainees to install the meters across the England, Scotland and Wales.
What’s the difference between the old SMET1 meters & the new SMETS2 meters?
- The new ones are more accurate – SMETS2 meters will be able to provide more accurate readings, bringing an end to the ludicrously high bills some customers have been charged in the past due to inaccurate readings.
- No more problems when customers switch suppliers – SMETS1 smart meters often stopped working when householders switched suppliers because the technologies the suppliers used were incompatible and data couldn’t be shared. Landis+Gyr, the UK’s largest smart meter manufacturer, says that the SMETS2 meters will be able to cope when households change suppliers and retain functionality post-switch.
- SMETS2 meters have better connectivity – households in areas where there is poor mobile phone reception will no long suffer the connectivity issues they had with the first generation meters.
- Lower energy bills – British Gas have said that customers save an average o £30 a year by using a smart meter. But that’s not all, Ofgem has suggested that energy companies will be able to offer better deals to smart meter customers who use energy outside peak hours. Pressure has been growing on energy suppliers to ditch standard tariffs, which are likely to be highly expensive and from next year.
What else will SMETS2 meters offer?
Some of the smaller, newer energy suppliers are really getting on board and developing new technologies to help us get the most from smart meters.
Ovo, for example, has developed a mobile app to help its customers understand what they are seeing.
The app clearly sets out readings, shows a current balance and offers comparisons with usage and costs over recent months making the system significantly more user-friendly.
As well as smoothing out the teething problems of their forerunners, the new meters are expected to unlock a raft of innovative features.
These include time-of-use tariffs and peer-to-peer energy trading, so that customers will be able to track and record their energy usage.
Smart data will be used to harness household solar power, battery packs and electric vehicle charging, creating more efficient holistic energy systems.
Households will find themselves in a position to feed supply back into the grid, as well as draw from it.
Should I become a Smart Meter installer?
Figures released by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) suggest that nearly 350,000 units are being fitted every month, so the market opportunities for Smart Meter installers is there.
Training is administered through the energy companies, you need to look on their websites for job vacancies, as well as through specialist recruitment agencies.
You don’t need to be trained prior to application, the energy companies will look after this for you.
Logic4training is a National Skills Academy for Power (NSAP) approved training provider for smart metering (dual fuel) and offers specialist training and facilities for the likes of SSE, EDF and Lowri Back.
Please click here for details.